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BASF Vegetable Seeds

In the summer of 2021, BASF Vegetable Seeds completed its second full growing season in line with the Plant Empowerment philosophy at its Nunhems location in ‘s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands. With the support of the multidisciplinary team, the crop production strategy has now been put into practice, achieving a total yield of 121 kg per m2.

BASF Vegetable Seeds focuses on what the company calls ‘integrated breeding’ – combining the knowledge of plant breeders with state-of-the-art technology and emerging science. The company’s goal is not just to sell seeds, but to provide its customers and the entire chain with innovation, expert advice and knowledge, reliable varieties, profitable concepts and sustainable solutions.

Together with Hoogendoorn Growth Management, one of the Plant Empowerment Implementation Partners, they previously conducted a trial with hydroponic lettuce at our Nunhems location in ‘s-Gravenzande, the Netherlands, based on autonomous and data-driven growing. The results were so impressive that they decided to try it for tomatoes as well. That’s where the other Plant Empowerment Implementation Partners came in. So in October 2019, BASF and all the partners set up a GPE trial on about 500m2.

40% more yield due to the Plant Empowerment principles

In the first year of this project, which started in August 2019, the seed company focused mainly on building its dataset on crop performance as a basis for decision-making. In the 2020/2021 season, BASF tested the Plant Empowerment principles in practice using the Provine truss tomato variety. At the end of that season, analysis of production data showed that the strategy had produced a total yield of 121 kg per m2, which is almost 40% higher than normal.

An important reason for the significant increase in production, is the high light level of the hybrid grow light installation. The combination of LED and HPS by Implementation Partner Hortilux provides 300 µmol, which is high by Dutch standards. But high wire crops like tomato thrive under these conditions.

The Plant Empowerment Implementation Partners recently helped BASF get the 2021/2022 season started. This time, the Plant Empowerment philosophy is being tested on a different variety: cocktail tomato Adorion. BASF plans to use all the data to develop a reproducible growing strategy that it can offer to every customer who buys Adorion seeds. This will enable those growers to get the best out of this variety – and hopefully other varieties in the future.

Interested in learning more about data-driven growing?

Are you interested in learning more about autonomous and data-driven growing in line with the Plant Empowerment philosophy? We organize different activities to stimulate cooperation and knowledge exchange, such as webinars, workshops, partner- and member meetings. For more information about the webinars check here.

More information?

Consultant Saint-Gobain Cultilene

Remy Maat

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