MAASDIJK – From the brassica locations in Maasdijk and Lutjebroek the first large orders of 2023 are being delivered. Once again, all colleagues are pulling out all the stops to provide our growers with the best plant material.
As every year, this brassica season began with the delivery of large brassica plants in 8 cm press pots. As the season progresses the plants are delivered in smaller pot sizes, starting in week 12 mainly in trays 280 and 315 holes. The first plants of this size have left the Beekenkamp locations and the delivery numbers are only increasing from now on. The peak takes place from week 16 to week 30, in this period tens of thousands of trays are delivered per week!
Marc Balemans, Cultivation Coordinator of Brassica Crops, explains: ‘The process of brassica seems easy: sow, flatten, water, then it grows by itself! Yet there is more to producing the best plant material for our growers. Every day the plants are assessed and adjusted where necessary through watering, fertilization and temperature. Thus, we do our utmost to produce trays with high germination and as uniform as possible. This is important because our growers want a product that is easy to plant.’
A well-known challenge in the horticultural world is the disappearance of crop protection products, which makes it more difficult to keep out certain diseases and pests. Marc tells, “Because of this we try to keep our plants resilient and vital in other ways; with the right nutritional strategy we can respond well to this. In addition, part of the greenhouses are fitted with insect netting, which ensures that the plants are protected from outside insects.’ Also, temperature integration is used and cultivation data is collected and analyzed. The results are used to adjust current cultivation of our crops and ensure future cultivations run smoothly.
Of course, energy efficiency is an important issue. How do we deal with that at Beekenkamp? Marc: ‘We are looking for the right balance between saving energy and continuing to supply the best quality plants. An example of this is the even more conscious use of the sun as a source of heat during cultivation. We ensure that our plants can make optimal use of the sun’s rays during the day, allowing us to lower the temperature slightly at night.’
In short, with a few fun challenges that the Beekenkamp Plants Vegetables team is energetically tackling, we will make this season another success!