At BASF Vegetable Seeds, the aim is to obtain more production, and better quality and also look for resistance in varieties to support farmers around the world. The company conducted a cucumber trial in the data-driven greenhouse at its test facility in the Netherlands to explore whether the Plant Empowerment principles could help to achieve these ambitions. “Our goal was already quite high, but in the end, we produced 50 pieces per square meter more than we expected,” says Marcel Huibers from BASF Vegetable Seeds.
BASF Vegetable Seeds
With its broad portfolio of Nunhems-branded seeds across 24 different crops, BASF Vegetable Seeds is shaping the future of vegetables. A steady stream of new varieties with unique and innovative traits contributes to high yields for farmers as well as healthy, tasty, and convenient foods for consumers. The varieties are tailored for a range of climates and growing conditions, different market situations and rapidly changing customer demands. The data-driven greenhouse at the company’s test facility in the Dutch town of ‘s-Gravenzande plays a key role in the ongoing work to develop these varieties.
“As a seed company, our aim is to get more production, better quality and also look for resistances in the varieties,” states Marcel Huibers, Senior Product Development Agrotechnologist at Nunhems Netherlands B.V., part of BASF Vegetable Seeds. In a recent cucumber trial, the team applied the Plant Empowerment principles as a way of achieving those ambitions.
Data analyis for lighting, pruning and screening
“Everything we do now starts with a plan,” he explains. After analyzing the year-round radiation levels, the BASF team adjust the amount of artificial light provided by the LEDs. The production of leaves and fruits is registered and the data is analyzed as the basis for the pruning strategy. Another key adjustment has been the screening strategy. “Since working with the Plant Empowerment principles, we use the energy curtain way more than we did before, including based on negative radiation,” he adds.
More production than expected
Application of the Plant Empowerment philosophy calls for a thorough approach but, based on the results, it definitely appears to have paid off for the seed company. “Our goal was already quite high, and in the end we produced 50 pieces per square meter more than we expected in advance. That’s extremely high!” exclaims Marcel.
His colleague Frans Goud, Senior Technician at BASF Vegetable Seeds, is similarly amazed by the results obtained by following the Plant Empowerment principles: “Fifteen years ago, I wouldn’t have believed we would now be approaching 400 pieces,” concludes Frans. So the implementation of the Plant Empowerment principles really exceeds expectations at BASF Vegetable Seeds.
Interested in learning more about data-driven growing?
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