Delphy has been conducting trials with through-bearers - an underexposed crop in the Netherlands, where strawberry growers mainly work with June-bearers - for years. Yet there is still a world to be won in through-bearers. In the run-up to the ISFC Field Event, Vera Theelen of Delphy talks about the state of things in through-bearer trials.
Vera Theelen of Delphy
"We see enormous potential in permeability carriers, which is why we have also developed a new cultivation concept for them. We work with fresh plants that have never seen a cold store - so they go directly from propagation to production. The aim here is to have a more even production."
With the chilled plants, you often have a very high production in one go, after which there is a decline. "Then it takes a long time again before the next 'wave' comes, whereas the fresh plants, from varieties that need less cooling, just keep going nice and smoothly." And this can be done with all kinds of varieties, including Favori, Arabella, Malling Ace, Albion, etc.
Incidentally, the need for cooling is not just down to the variety but also to the method of growing up. "We do that very evenly, in autumn, when it is already slightly cooler, in an unlit greenhouse," he says.
With the fresh plants, you avoid the spikes and plant stress that you do with the cooled plants - which in turn can lead to lower brix values. "You actually go from a sprint to a marathon. The plant can thus better regulate sugar content, fruit size, and production."
So the harvest also becomes more even. "Instead of having 800 grams one week and only 100 grams the next week, you just have 500 grams every week," he says. The aim here is to eventually achieve a yield of 20 kg per square meter.
Het Nieuwe Telen
The new cultivation concept uses Het Nieuwe Telen (The New Cultivation), with a high 24-hour temperature and an RTR strategy. "As your irradiation goes up, your temperature also increases proportionally," Vera explains. "The idea is that at a higher temperature with more irradiation, more photosynthesis can take place."
Besides the trials with through-bearers and June-bearers running at Delphy, Vera is certainly not sitting still. These include looking at lowering energy consumption in strawberry cultivation and the issue of how to use less crop protection products in propagation - trials that growers can start working on immediately.
Vera and her colleagues will be able to tell all about it at the ISFC Field Event - and it won't just be about strawberries, but also raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
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