Substrates

Cyclone Gaja tests resilience of coco industry

Coco coir is used broadly in the horticultural industry. Being renewable and reusable, it offers growers an alternative with lower discarding costs. In addition, growing on a plant-based substrate is valued by its users, as well as the forgiving nature of the substrate: it can contain a lot of water and…

"Mars and Mull share similar soil"

NASA’s InSight lander has been headline news in recent weeks, as it continues to send back clear images of the rocky and unforgiving surface of Mars. However, the previous exploration robot sent to roam the red planet, the Curiosity rover, has been beaming back invaluable data for years, giving…

"Agriculture Bill will make biochar an even more attractive option to growers"

In the last two months the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) officially recognised biochar as a “promising Negative Emissions Technology (NET)”, and the Royal…

Why water management stays hot

Lately, a fascinating article in the Financial Times, ‘Future of food, inside agritech’s Silicon Valley’, caught my eye. A journalist traveled to Wageningen to see it for himself - Wageningen University (WUR) a major driver for groundbreaking food innovations. Not only in the Netherlands, but also globally. It made me proud…

Conference highlights role of plant substrates in modern horticulture

Hosted and chaired by MEP Franc Bogovič and organised by Growing Media Europe AISBL, the conference "Growing Media - The Foundation for a Greener Future", held on 5 November 2018 in the European Parliament, showcased how growing media are part of everyone´s daily life, contributing e.g. to food security,…

Expo AgroAlimentaria

"Mexican production increases every year"

According to the USDA, the Mexican acreage of tomatoes in protected agriculture has grown rapidly over the last couple of years up to 15,198 hectares in MY 2016/17. The acreage is still growing, but growth has slowed down to less than 1,000 hectares per year. But hey - that's still 1,000 hectares per…

Ivory Coast, coconut substrate and a man on a mission

From Executive Board member of Dutch Plantin in Boekel, it’s a big leap to an idealistic entrepreneur in Abidjan, Africa. Fer Weerheijm took that leap. And not without reason. “I had a vision. Improving the local food production and employment in Ivory Coast by means of coconut substrates. I now know…

Cotton wool mats used to grow microgreens

Did you grow cress on cotton wool on your window ledge when you were at school? That is exactly the principle that Simon Macaulay followed when he first talked to Chris Moncrieff of Van Heineken Brothers (VHB) in Angmering, (now a housing development) Sussex in the late 1990s. Chris and Peter Walls, who…

BVB Substrates joins forces with Kekkilä

BVB Substrates has been producing substrates for a century. To serve customers better with sustainable solutions, BVB Substrates is joining forces with Kekkilä, a subsidiary of the Finnish company Vapo Oy. Peter Jan Kuiper, CEO BVB: 'An excellent combination that matches our ambition.' The official merger of BVB…

Stefanie van Wienhoven, Grodan:

"Producing more with less water and nutrients"

The concept of 'Precision Growing' stipulates that optimal growing conditions can be achieved during an entire growing season. In precision cultivation the plants are supplied with the exact amount of water and fertilizers they need. Excess water and fertilizers can be collected efficiently and be…

Erik Zwinkels, Zwinkels Tomaten switched to a new substrate

"Better distribution of water throughout the day"

In their 20 hectare greenhouse Zwinkels Tomaten grow cocktail, mini-plumb and mini-vine tomatoes. This year they switched to Grodan's Elite slab for 11 hectares. I n this video  Erik Zwinkels, co-owner of Zwinkels Tomaten, shares his experiences so far. Erik: "Advantages so far, are visible in the crops. The…

Hans Baekelmans, Greenyard Horticulture:

“Enriched substrates make plants more resistant”

“We see the demand from retail and consumer for sustainably grown product grow. Growers are already putting in a lot of effort, and now there is an awareness that completely sterile substrate has less to offer than an organic substrate with more symbiosis in the soil. Soil life can be added easily to our…

"Seaweed could be key to lower nutrient and water use in horticulture"

Water and fertiliser use in horticulture could be reduced, without lowering yields, by using biostimulants such as seaweed extract and beneficial microbes, says UK research organisation NIAB EMR. NIAB EMR, and its research partner Dove Associates, have combined the use of biostimulants with innovative sensors that monitor…

Grodan opens its first production facility in Russia

Grodan, part of the Rockwool Group, opened a new production facility in Elabuga. In the presence of Aleksey Pesoshin, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, the production facility was opened by means of a symbolic ceremony. After being present in the Russian market for more than 20 years, Grodan opens its…


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