Developments in substrates in the UK
Soft Fruit Industry   February 12th 2008




                         Wim Roosen
    ...
DLV Plant UK 2008


Thanks to the sponsors of today:




                                   ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008




Soil or substrate? Does it matter?




                                     ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008




    Growing softfruit on substrates:
•   Less risks to diseases   • More risks to control
•   More g...
DLV Plant UK 2008




WHY do you want go to substrate crops?
•   Bigger & more fruit – Yes, with staggered
    trusses on ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




So: when you do not go to substrates:

• Very good soil, high yields of good quality
• No problem to...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Hectares of strawberries NL + Belgium:
  glasshouses       tunnels/rainc. Outdoor TT   trayfields
  ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ha substrates in UK/Eire

             1000

             800
 h ectares




   ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Raspberries &       Strawberries:
blackberries:




90% on pure coir    65% on pure coir

          ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Why coir?
• Fine material to fill pots/troughs; easy to cover
  roots well
• Very uniform & airy pro...
DLV Plant UK 2008



When is coir to use?
- Propagation – trayplants: mixes peat & coir
- Depends on the quality of the ba...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Points of attention:
• Peat = fertilized & Coir = not fertilized
• Peat basic EC < 0,1: space to add...
DLV Plant UK 2008




N-feed: nitrate and ammonium:
• In UK: less NO3 used compared to NL/B - ??
  Potassiumsulphate is us...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Balance:

• EC in the compost:
  start/rooting period, fast growing (EC up), fruiting
• pH: stable 5...
DLV Plant UK 2008



Substrates: easier to steer than soil
• Small volume of water gives easy adjustments
  to feed: quick...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Where does the coir come from?
• from
  coconuts
• from
  nice &
  sunny
  places
• around
  the
  e...
DLV Plant UK 2008


Where does the coir come from?
• Palmae of Arecaceae
• Cocos nucifera
• 30 mtr high, - 6 mtr leaves
• ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008


How many coconuts you need for 1 m3?

• Approx. 60 grams dry coir
  dust per coconut
• 1 m3 dry weight...
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008



Developments in Soft Fruit:
• New crops to substrates: blueberries (long term)
• New varieties & plan...
DLV Plant UK 2008



Substrate or soil? Does it matter? Yes it does!




                                   Elsanta:      ...
DLV Plant UK 2008




Thanks for your attention



              Questions?




                            ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008


Thanks again to the sponsors of today:




                                     ● © DLV Plant
DLV Plant UK 2008



Strawberries in Europe 2004:
Country                 Total surface        Protected          Substrat...
DLV Plant UK 2008




                    ● © DLV Plant
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Wr Substrates Developments Febr 2008

  1. 1. Developments in substrates in the UK Soft Fruit Industry February 12th 2008 Wim Roosen DLV Plant BV
  2. 2. DLV Plant UK 2008 Thanks to the sponsors of today: ● © DLV Plant
  3. 3. DLV Plant UK 2008 Soil or substrate? Does it matter? ● © DLV Plant
  4. 4. DLV Plant UK 2008 Growing softfruit on substrates: • Less risks to diseases • More risks to control • More good plants/m2 • Dripping = most difficult • Flexibility - weather part of growing • More yield • Feeding EC/pH • Fast picking TT • Daily control / balance! • More investments • Good equipment • Less costs per kg: • Good staff/managers – Now, 2010, 2015? • Training & support! ● © DLV Plant
  5. 5. DLV Plant UK 2008 WHY do you want go to substrate crops? • Bigger & more fruit – Yes, with staggered trusses on the headcrown / special trayplants: • Only 1-2 side crowns + more plants/mtr • Bad structure of soil, stones, diseases • Small area – high yield (2 crops/year • Supermarkets – methylbromide and others • For the pickers – increase productivity (kg/hr) • For enough pickers !! ● © DLV Plant
  6. 6. DLV Plant UK 2008 So: when you do not go to substrates: • Very good soil, high yields of good quality • No problem to have enough & good pickers Future: • Increase of environmental and labor issues • More and more substrates… • WORLDWIDE !! ● © DLV Plant
  7. 7. DLV Plant UK 2008 Hectares of strawberries NL + Belgium: glasshouses tunnels/rainc. Outdoor TT trayfields 250 ha: + 100 ha: + 50 ha: ++ 150 ha: ++ • In NL/B: 1980, pots in GH – few growers Strong increase from 1990 – 2000-4000 m2 Strong increase since 1997 – over 1ha GH • Soon 10 ha GH companies: 1200 ton/yr • Today approx. 550 ha NL/B substrate • Raspberries increase since 2005 ● © DLV Plant
  8. 8. DLV Plant UK 2008 ha substrates in UK/Eire 1000 800 h ectares 600 peat mix 400 100% coir 200 0 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 Year ● © DLV Plant
  9. 9. DLV Plant UK 2008 Raspberries & Strawberries: blackberries: 90% on pure coir 65% on pure coir ● © DLV Plant
  10. 10. DLV Plant UK 2008 Why coir? • Fine material to fill pots/troughs; easy to cover roots well • Very uniform & airy product • Stable structure for > 4 years: – Long crops as Autumn raspberries – More years use of coirbags But every year a bit more moist (old roots) less drips • Only when treated well to safe use in softfruit • Special recipes & dripping strategies ● © DLV Plant
  11. 11. DLV Plant UK 2008 When is coir to use? - Propagation – trayplants: mixes peat & coir - Depends on the quality of the basic water: - EC (Sodium < 30 mg/l, Chloride < 60 mg/l). - Silicon in relation to albinism in Elsanta (< 6 mg/l) Autumn crop GH: much fruit, vigour-NH4, unbalance (these you can control!) + high Si, cloudy: albinism Less limitation to Spring & Summer crops (< 10 mg/l) “No limitation” to other crops & varieties (< 15 mg/l) - Use of coirbags for 3-4 years = less costs - Higher subtrates (e.g. pots) – more % run off = less sensitive to albinsm ● © DLV Plant
  12. 12. DLV Plant UK 2008 Points of attention: • Peat = fertilized & Coir = not fertilized • Peat basic EC < 0,1: space to add feed – Start with low EC to root in • Coir basic EC is 0,3-0,6: no space to add feed – Start with feed from wetting up the coir • Fill pots/troughs/bags uniform – Equal pressure while planting/covering roots – Rooting period: just moist, do not drip too much! – Balance in moist = drip what is transpirated + % RO ● © DLV Plant
  13. 13. DLV Plant UK 2008 N-feed: nitrate and ammonium: • In UK: less NO3 used compared to NL/B - ?? Potassiumsulphate is used a lot = OK for soil.... Soil differs to substrate: volume & nitrification • NH4 (ammonium) in the feed makes plants (too) vigour and increases the sensitivity to albinsm in the Autumn Elsanta in GH. • 1% NH4 in solid Caliumnitrate; good for start, but on river water too much in fruitingstage • Use liquid Calciumnitrate from flowering stage ● © DLV Plant
  14. 14. DLV Plant UK 2008 Balance: • EC in the compost: start/rooting period, fast growing (EC up), fruiting • pH: stable 5,5 all crops, except blueberries 4,5 • Moist: 50-60% on WET probe; feel as well! • Run off: 0 – 5 – 10 – 20 – 30%, depends on – System: bags – troughs – pots – Outdoor, tunnels (vent enough!!) or GH – Period of year, temperature, sun, transpiration (RH) ● © DLV Plant
  15. 15. DLV Plant UK 2008 Substrates: easier to steer than soil • Small volume of water gives easy adjustments to feed: quick reaction • DLV developed special recipes for each crop on coir or peat • Important to coir is a stable source and very well process control to quality: • Special treatment – EC, pH, buffering Ca/Mg • The right age, structure and sievings: > 1mm • RHP-certificate in Holland; it took > 10 years to develop the right coir for strawberries! ● © DLV Plant
  16. 16. DLV Plant UK 2008 Where does the coir come from? • from coconuts • from nice & sunny places • around the equator ● © DLV Plant
  17. 17. DLV Plant UK 2008 Where does the coir come from? • Palmae of Arecaceae • Cocos nucifera • 30 mtr high, - 6 mtr leaves • Big industry: oil-shampoo, milk-pina colada, jewelery, bounty, fibres (drainpipes, door-mats, carpets) • “dust” was left….. till some Dutchmen saw it in 1990. ● © DLV Plant
  18. 18. DLV Plant UK 2008 ● © DLV Plant
  19. 19. DLV Plant UK 2008 ● © DLV Plant
  20. 20. DLV Plant UK 2008 ● © DLV Plant
  21. 21. DLV Plant UK 2008 How many coconuts you need for 1 m3? • Approx. 60 grams dry coir dust per coconut • 1 m3 dry weight = 95 kg • So 1600 coconuts to collect, transport, open, seave, treat, wash to have 1 m3 product • Only few % is used so far ● © DLV Plant
  22. 22. DLV Plant UK 2008 ● © DLV Plant
  23. 23. DLV Plant UK 2008 Developments in Soft Fruit: • New crops to substrates: blueberries (long term) • New varieties & planttypes needs 3-4 yrs tests • New propagation techniques – uniform plants • SQMS®: monitoring & guide system for Strawberries in glasshouses and prop. trayplants • Developing into tunnels to improve fruit quality • To develop a planning system to 60 day crops based on growing degree hours & test plantings • Klaas Walraven and Bert Meurs will tell you more ● © DLV Plant
  24. 24. DLV Plant UK 2008 Substrate or soil? Does it matter? Yes it does! Elsanta: 25-35 ton Everbearer: 30-50 ton Tulameen: 15-22 ton Blueberries: 10-20 ton ● © DLV Plant
  25. 25. DLV Plant UK 2008 Thanks for your attention Questions? ● © DLV Plant
  26. 26. DLV Plant UK 2008 Thanks again to the sponsors of today: ● © DLV Plant
  27. 27. DLV Plant UK 2008 Strawberries in Europe 2004: Country Total surface Protected Substrate Tendency substrate in ha cropping in ha culture in ha culture in the near future * ** United Kingdom 3200 680 155 (strong) increase Ireland 200 66 35 Small increase Germany 11.000 80 20 Small increase Switzerland 410 50 15 Small increase France 4500 1930 265 Strong increase Italy 3900 3025 150 Small increase Spain 7000 1900 61 Strong increase Portugal 600 300 45 Increase Greece 365 320 1 Stable Austria 1200 10 2 Stable Norway 1790 10 0.5 Stable Sweden 1900 15 3 Stable Denmark 1060 5 1 Stable Finland 4500 8 4 Stable/small increase *greenhouses and large tunnels ** including outdoor soilless productionsystems ● © DLV Plant
  28. 28. DLV Plant UK 2008 ● © DLV Plant
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