On 14 February 2017, the first day of the HortiContact Tour, a total of 35 guests from 14 different nationalities visited 5 farms, nurseries and research sites. The participants were unanimously enthusiastic about the tour, says Jelle Tetteroo of Uniglobe Westland Business Travel. ‘We were cordially welcomed by nice people who spoke to us about their profession with passion. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions, which resulted in many interesting discussions. I received only positive response from the participants.’
The day started with a morning visit to vine tomato grower Jami in Bergschenhoek, run by Michel Zwinkels and Arjan and Andy de Jong. In late 2012 the firm started using LED lighting in combination with SON-T top lighting, under which three hectares of crops are grown. An additional three hectares of tomatoes are grown without assimilation lighting. LED expert Koos de Wit of Philips Lighting spoke extensively about the results achieved through the practical application of hybrid lighting on vine tomato crops, at Jami as well as other farms all over the world.
Testing in practice
The group then proceeded to Wageningen University & Research in Bleiswijk, where they were invited to take a look at several practical trials. These included a trial in which lettuce was grown on water under LED lighting, and one that involved vanilla plants. Also, the winter light and 2Save Energy greenhouses were presented, in which cucumbers and tomatoes are grown, respectively. After lunch the participants visited the Delphy Improvement Centre. The centre currently conducts trials in which roses, vine tomatoes and strawberries are grown under LED lighting. Energy-saving trials involving chrysanthemums and sweet peppers were also presented.
Arcadia and Sion Orchids
In the afternoon, visits were made to chrysanthemum grower Arcadia and Sion Orchids in De Lier. Only chrysanthemum disbuds are grown on Arcadia’s newest farm. The visitors were particularly impressed by Arcadia’s energy-saving and socially responsible cultivation methods, in which the climate system, the biological crop protection agents used and the advanced grading and sorting machine all passed the review. At Sion Orchids, the visitors were given an extensive tour of the potted plant nursery, in which all aspects of Phalaenopsis cultivation - from tissue cultivation to the final product - were discussed.
The second day of the Tour will be held at HortiContact in Gorinchem, and will feature several lectures and a visit to the professional trade fair. The organisation is in the hands of the HortiContact professional trade fair, Uniglobe Westland Business Travel and In Greenhouses magazine.
Text/photos: Mario Bentvelsen.
Chrysanthemum growers Arcadia and Van Uffelen are definitively going to use 'The Next Generation Growing' at their nurseries in De Lier and Maasland. Technokas was asked to equip the companies with the air conditioning systems needed.
Van Uffelen’s greenhouse was designed and built by Technokas two years ago. The chrysanthemum nursery was also prepared to some extent for the installation of the climate system required by The Next Generation Grwoing. The Arcadia installation is part of a new project involving replacement and expansion at an existing site. The installation will suck dry outside air via the gable ends, possibly mix this with greenhouse air, and if necessary heat this locally until it reaches the indoor temperature. It will then be distributed among the cultivation departments with transparent hoses.
Portals in gable ends
Air handling units (AHUs) will be installed in the purpose-made portals in the gable ends. The greenhouses will be provided with manifolds and mix groups for the heating elements, where these do not already exist. In addition, the installations for sprinkling and lighting are designed in such a way that the air distribution tubes can easily be hung over the crops, and do not negatively affect the reach of the treated air from the holes in the hose. These greenhouses are also provided with a second energy screen.
Arcadia and Van Uffelen decided to use this climate system as a result of the good results achieved with them in one of Arcadia’s other sites. Wageningen UR, Kas als Energiebron, DLV, Deliflor and other chrysanthemum growers have been testing this system for a long time. During prolonged tests with other crops, positive results in terms of controllability of climate requirements and energy efficiency have also been achieved using Technokas’ climate system.
Energy savings and a better climate
Growers expect the Technokas installation to help further improve the regulation of temperature distribution and relative humidity of the climate in a cultivation department. In addition to a more uniform climate, growers expect that this, in combination with the energy screens, will result in 15 to 30 percent savings in energy consumption. The technology is also expected to lead to even better quality chrysanthemums.
Source: Technokas. Photos: Fotostudio GJ Vlekke.
The HortiContact Tour organisation has released its full tour schedule. On Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 February 2017, the two-day excursion will visit multiple nurseries and research centres, and introduce international growers to the latest developments in Dutch horticulture. The programme includes a Practical Day, and a Seminar & Exhibition Day.
On the first HortiContact Tour day (14 February 2017), participants will be visiting several growing and research facilities. The excursion will leave from Rotterdam at 8:00 hours. The first stop will be at 8:30 hours, at tomato grower Jami’s in Bleiswijk, followed by a visit to the Wageningen University & Research (greenhouse department) and the Delphy Improvement Centre at 10:30 hours. Both knowledge institutes will walk tour members through the latest developments and growing experiments.
Next Generation Growing
After lunch, the group will head for De Lier-based chrysanthemum grower Arcadia at 13:30 hours. The company opened a new greenhouse in 2015. They are Next Generation Growing and plant health pioneers. The last visit of the day will bring the group to Sion Orchids at 16:00 hours, also in De Lier. The company is renowned as an innovative producer of young Phalaenopsis plants. Sion Orchids is active internationally, on multiple continents. The day concludes with a diner.
Seminar & Exhibition Day
The second day will centre around Gorinchem, 35 kilometres from Rotterdam. At HortiContact’s exhibition premises, researchers from Wageningen University & Research will give captivating presentations: Ep Heuvelink will present on the fascinating botany world (9:00 hours), while Frank Kempkes will introduce HortiContact Tour participants to the Winterlight greenhouse; the university’s new greenhouse construction project (at 10:30 hours). A complimentary lunch concludes the morning programme.
From 13:00 hours, participants may visit the HortiContact exhibition. With an average of 450 to 500 exhibitors, it is one of the biggest and most-valued meeting platforms for Dutch Horticulture. The day will be concluded with a standing dinner reception.
The HortiContact Tour is being arranged through a cooperation of the HortiContact exhibition organisation (hosted from Tuesday 14 until Thursday 16 February 2017 at Evenementenhal Gorinchem), Uniglobe Westland Business Travel, and In Greenhouses magazine. Through support from multiple sponsors, participation in the HortiContact Tour is free of charge. Growers from abroad will need to arrange their own travelling and hotel stays. Participants can, however, make use of the organisation’s hotel and airport transfer arrangement.
More information/signing up
Do you know growers within your international business network who might be interested in this tour? Then please refer them to the following website for more information, or for signing up: www.horticontacttour.nl.
The Dutch greenhouse sector is continuously innovating. In addition, the nurseries and research centres are keen to share their knowledge and experiences with growers from all over the world. On Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 February 2017 international growers will have the opportunity to join the HortiContact Tour and see first hand the latest developments in Dutch greenhouses.
This two-day excursion is being arranged by Uniglobe Westland Business Travel, In Greenhouses magazine and the organisers of the trade fair HortiContact (Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16 February 2017 in Evenementenhal, Gorinchem). The programme broadly includes: visiting leading companies (specialised in cut flowers, pot plants and greenhouse vegetables), presentations by researchers and lecturers at renowned knowledge institutes and, of course, a visit to the trade fair, HortiContact.
The first day of the two-day program will include visits to nurseries and research centres. One of the greenhouses that participants will visit on the first day is an innovative vegetable grower in the Bleiswijk area. Another is the chrysanthemum company Arcadia which in 2015 opened a new greenhouse in De Lier. This company is a pioneer in Next Generation Growing and plant health. Sion Orchids - also in De Lier – is seen as an innovative producer of phalaenopsis young plants. The company is internationally active on several continents.
The research facilities of Wageningen University & Research (Department of Greenhouse Horticulture) and Delphy Improvement Centre are also located in Bleiswijk. At both institutes visitors can see the latest developments and cultivation trials taking place.
Seminars and exhibition
Day 2 takes place in Gorinchem, some 35 km east of Rotterdam. The HortiContact exhibition will be the site for some captivating presentations by researchers from Wageningen University & Research: Ep Heuvelink will discuss the fascinating world of plant physiology and Frank Kempkes will present the latest university project on greenhouse construction: the winter light greenhouse.
Afterwards the group will be invited to lunch and in the afternoon can attend the trade fair. With 450 participants, HortiContact is the largest and best rated meeting place for greenhouse horticulture in the Netherlands. On both days the organisers will arrange an evening dinner.
Thanks to the support from various sponsors participation in the HortiContact Tour is free of charge. International growers will need to arrange and pay for their own trip to the Netherlands and accommodation. However, participants can take advantage of hotel discounts and airport transfers arranged by the organisers. Transport during the two-day excursion will take place via coach. Don’t wait too long to sign up because the number of places is limited.
For more information, or to sign up, please go to www.horticontacttour.nl. Please provide background information on your career and greenhouse operation, such as size, crops and location. Suppliers, students and consultants are not admitted on the bus, likewise Dutch growers who are working in the Netherlands for a Dutch business.