SOILCOM

Conversation between fruittree growers and Janssen Wijhe

29 June 2021 - Published by Hanne Lakkenborg Kristensen
Last week, one of the study groups in the SOILCOM project visited the composting location of Janssen Wijhe in the Netherlands. In the study group, fruittree growers are obtaining knowledge about organic matter, compost, the production and added value of compost for their soils.

During the visit a lot of experiences and knowledge was exchanged. About the production of compost, how to be sure that you ask and buy a good quality compost. And which steps in the production process are necessary to obtain a good quality compost. Free of weed and pathogens. It was a very inspiring visit with a lot of eye openers on both sides.

One of the targets of the SOILCOM project is to increase the knowledge of the growers about compost. In the Netherlands Delphy works together with Hessel Marketing & Communication and Smeets Agroconsultancy B.V.  in increasing the awareness of the growers.  Hessel and Smeets organized the visit of Janssen Wijhe. After the introduction about the importance of organic matter and how to stabilize or increase the percentage in the soil, the group went outside. Janssen Wijhe has organized their composting process in a very structured way. The leaf and green waste streams are brought onto a big heap were the pre-composting process takes place. After this step, from the material long heaps are formed and fresh wood is added. The composting process starts and the temperature is building up to plus 60˚C.  Janssen produces different end products: leaf compost, green compost and leaf bokashi. All products also in different sizes.

During the visit the participants talked about the role of compost in the fruit tree nursery. The fruit tree companies often exist of two business units; the production of rootstocks and the production of fruit trees for the commercial fruit growers. In the production of rootstocks the stool beds are layered with peat and sawdust. As the peat mining is ending, the growers are testing also compost as a material for their stool beds. The second business unit is the production of fruit trees. This is a two year cultivation. During the visit the use and added value of compost in this part of their companies was discussed. Compost had short and long term advantage. For this 2 year cultivation, especially the short term advantages are important. As the growers return their land after this two year production to the landowner. Within SOILCOM two demos are started. One to see the effects of compost in the stool beds and the second one to see the effects of compost in the two year cultivation. 

The fruit tree growers were very enthusiastic about the composting process and the different end products. The growers are often scared of weeds, plastic and possible pathogens in the compost. This visit and insight into the composting process, together with the analyses of the end product have taken away the fear. For the actual application of compost in the nursery the consideration of the added value and the business economics are of importance.