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Cultilene and Growficient to collaborate

Substrate manufacturer Saint-Gobain Cultilene and substrate sensor supplier Growficient are joining forces in a new partnership. By combining their expertise, the companies want to help growers optimize their production with as little water and nutrients as possible. The companies also align in their sustainability goals.

"In crop production, there are lots of people involved who can tell instinctively by looking at a plant how it is doing. But facts and data are playing an ever greater role in making the right choices," says Cultilene CEO Dennis Wertheimer: "Together with Growficient, we will provide our customers with data that gives even more insight into the substrate around the plant's roots." Looking ahead to the collaboration between the companies, he adds: "Cultilene's strapline is 'Where impact begins'. I have every confidence that we can make an even greater impact by working together."

Strengthening each other
The partnership may be new, but the relationship between Cultilene and Growficient goes back several years. Dirk Jan Mulder, co-founder of Growficient: "Over the years, both companies have developed their own products. Cultilene has introduced innovations in substrates, while we, as an independent supplier, have produced a wireless sensor that works on all substrates. Now the time has come to further strengthen each other." This creates a win-win situation, not only for Cultilene and Growficient, but above all for the grower. Dennis: "At Cultilene, we think it's important to do more than just sell substrate: we aim to offer growers added value. We do this by providing advice on substrates, the root environment and all the other factors affecting the plant's water balance. Growficient shares this vision and can use the data from the sensors to provide faster and more targeted advice. Together we work hand in hand with the grower."

Insight at a glance
The decision to collaborate follows a short period of trial runs. Remy Maat specialist in the field of substrate application at Cultilene was closely involved in these trials. He explains: "The first impression was immediately positive. What unquestionably adds value is the comprehensive 'Growboard', a dashboard that collects data from all your locations, providing insight into data from all the sensors at a glance. This includes water content, temperature, EC and slab dry-out. Another handy feature is the ability to integrate the data with any climate computer. The growers who tested it were instantly convinced and could start working with the data straight away." The sensors also offer advantages for Remy himself. He adds: "If a grower reports a problem with their plants, I can take a look at the dashboard straight away if necessary. Then I can get a quicker idea of what is going wrong and give irrigation advice remotely. The sensors also provide additional security for the grower by directly monitoring what is happening. With the changeable weather we have been having this spring, it is very important to be able to adjust your watering based on reliable data."

Optimizing production
Besides their mission to help growers optimise their production, Growficient and Cultilene have one more shared ambition: to make the sector more sustainable. Dennis: "Saint-Gobain aims to be completely carbon neutral by 2050. This requires innovations in all areas, including substrate. We are currently researching how to reuse stone wool, but we are also
exploring other types of substrate, such as glass wool and wood substrate. The Growficient sensors also work very well in these, and the dashboard shows great results." Dirk Jan adds: "The data gives a precise picture of what is happening in the root environment and helps to optimise watering. On the one hand, this offers growers assurance, and on the other, it teaches us valuable lessons. By acquiring knowledge together, we can take the next step towards sustainable crop production." Dennis couldn't agree more. He concludes: "In this area, too, our collaboration is the point 'where impact begins'. I expect that by innovating together and listening to our customers' needs, we will be able to make a positive difference."

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