ILVO Newsletter November 2018

Ready, set, go!

Soil passport as a new tool to manage agricultural parcels more sustainably

soil passportILVO has started a sort of 'medical record' of its plots. All soil data - crop rotation, treatments and treatments, analyses, yields and environmental conditions - are brought together. This type of integrated dataset enables richer data mining, which can provide new insights in the field of sustainable and climate-friendly soil management.


GLITCH! High-tech applications for climate-neutral greenhouse horticulture.

Glitch greenhouseThe aim of the INTERREG project GLITCH is to bring more high-tech innovations into greenhouse horticulture via the innovation process itself. Growers, technology companies, research institutes and customers work together on more efficient and sustainable cultivation systems and techniques. ILVO is taking the lead in this project for the further development of climate-neutral greenhouse horticulture.



Towards healthier hops. Detection, identification and introduction routes of Verticillium in hops.

Hop plantWhich fungal species of the Verticillium group occur in hop plants and in the soils on which they grow, and are they a mild or serious threat for the plants? How can we detect the fungi and avoid their introduction? These are the main questions within VERTIHOP, a two-year project by ILVO and Inagro.







Healthy apples, grapes and carrots. Optimized integrated crop protection for accurate detection and control of plant diseases in perennial crops and field vegetables.

OptimaMore than 15 European partners, including ILVO, will develop environmentally friendly, sustainable crop protection strategies and application devices for 3 typical European crop types in the Horizon2020 project OPTIMA: orchards, vineyards and field vegetables.

The Other Chicken. Marketing of an alternative broiler chicken from a cooperative collaboration

the other chickenAt the beginning of 2018, the demonstration project The Other Chicken was launched. In addition, the project partners demonstrate how an alternative meat chicken can be put on the market in Flanders starting from a cooperative partnership. The project works on management, animal health, chain development, business economics and marketing.





Striking results

Life between windmills. Environmental effects of offshore wind farms in the soft sediments around the wind turbines.

windmillsSo far, no reef effects or effects of fishing exclusion have been observed in the sandy zones between wind turbines, according to the recent monitoring results for fish and invertebrates in two wind farms. The species that lived there before the construction of the wind farms still dominate the soft sediments.



Finding the beetle in the potato stack. Detection, control measures and impact study for exotic Epitrix species in Belgium.

potato stackThere is only a limited risk of introduction of the exotic and harmful flea infestations Epitrix cucumeris and Epitrix papa from contaminated areas in Portugal and Spain, according to research results of ILVO, UGent, CRAW and PCA. Within the DEPITRIM project, introduction and settlement risk maps were drawn up, and recommendations were formulated for potato traders and the FASFC for dealing with exotic Epitrix species after identification.


New farming systems offer an answer to anonymous food consumption. Alternative food initiatives restore the connection between food and society. Will this be the agricultural model of the future?

alternative food initiativesOur current agricultural model is under pressure: we know less and less where our food comes from and under what conditions it was produced. Producer and consumer have become anonymous to each other. Alternative food initiatives (AVIs) are looking for an answer to this. These are small-scale, local initiatives that seek new connections between agriculture and society in order to arrive at a sustainable agricultural model. For example, it concerns initiatives that combine food production with other social interests, such as social employment or sustainable waste processing.

In the spotlight

The first aquaculture products from the 'North Sea Aquaculture' project area are here and they’re a success: particularly tasty Belgian mussels

Belgian musselsThe "North Sea Aquaculture" project is bearing more fruit: successful collaboration between knowledge institutions, government and business world.
Halle, September 18, 2018 - Today the first Belgian mussels from the project "North Sea Aquaculture" (subprojects EDULIS and Value @ Sea) were tasted and were judged to be delicious. The various partners of the research project, in the presence of Patricia De Clercq, Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries and Philippe De Backer Secretary of State for the North Sea, can proudly look back on a successful collaboration to grow mussels in an integrated way for the first time in the Belgian part of the North Sea.

Colruyt Group partners up to promote organic soy cultivation in Belgium

organic soyPartners (farmer Colembie, La vie est belle, Colruyt Group, ILVO and Inagro) innovate with locally grown organic soy.
Halle, October 17, 2018 - Colruyt Group joined farmer Simon Colembie from Kruishoutem and the Bruges producer La vie est belle to pioneer the cultivation and marketing of locally grown organic soy. The partners were assisted by knowledge centers ILVO and Inagro, who investigated the potential of Belgian soy cultivation. The future looks promising. Colembie harvested a hectare for the first time this year of organic soy, with a yield of 2.5 ton soybeans. The soy was processed by La vie est belle into two soy burgers and two soy spreads. These will be available in the first half of next year in the Bio-Planet, the organic market of Colruyt Group.

Promising future of soy cultivation for human consumption in Belgium

soy cultivationFor the second year in a row, locally grown GMO-free soy for human consumption was harvested in Belgium. Last year the cultivation of this subtropical plant was started for the first time in our country, and this after 4 years of extensive research into the possibilities of soya cultivation in our climate. This was a project of Arvesta, Alpro, ILVO, the Flemish Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and some pioneering Belgian farmers.
The results for this year are more than promising: the area sown with soy has now doubled, more farmers from Flanders and Wallonia have joined this project and the quality of the soy is suitable for human consumption. In short, soy cultivation in Belgium is ready to grow into several thousand hectares.