ILVO Newsletter December 2019

In the starting blocks

Saving on protein. More efficient use of feed protein for cattle in response to stricter climate and environmental legislation

cowLess protein for dairy cows through improved roughage quality, precision feeding and more efficient cows - this is the triple goal of project EKOPTI. These protein savings must benefit the environment - by reducing emissions and climate impact - and represent financial savings for farmers.

Another role for advisors in innovation processes? i2connect will explore

i2connectHow can consultants contribute to more interactive innovation processes, and what role can/should they take? This is the central question within the European H2020 i2connect project, which started on 1 November this year.

Damage to the nightshade family? Screening of plant viruses present in cultivated and wild plants of the nightshade family. Nightshades in danger

nightshade familyA non-targeted and therefore very broad 'High Throughput Sequencing' technique for screening of plant viruses is the aim of project SEVIPLANT. For the development of this tool the researchers focus on Solanaceae (nightshade family), which includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. The research contributes to the assessment of the risk of virus damage in agriculture and horticulture and to international policy.

Quinoa speeding up. Rollout of a profitable conventional and organic crop in Flanders.

quinoaA profitable conventional and organic quinoa crop is being rolled out in Flanders, while maintaining the 'green image' of this crop and without the use of pesticides and/or herbicides. This is the aim of the recently started QUILO (QUINOA LOCAL).

Striking results

The environmental impact of offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: a decade of monitoring, research and innovation.

memoirsSince 2008, 318 offshore wind turbines were installed in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Both construction technology and the monitoring of environmental impact have changed significantly over the past decade. In a new report, the scientific partners in the monitoring program, including ILVO, summarize what we have learned so far about the long-term effects on a variety of ecosystem components, from invertebrates to birds and marine mammals. As the time series lengthens, our ability to detect effects increases. Striking results include that artificial hard substrates such as wind turbine foundations cannot be considered as equivalent alternatives to species-rich natural hard substrates, that wind farms deter some bird species but attract others, that the number of stranded porpoises is correlated with periods of high-intensity underwater noise, and that offshore wind farms have brought about only a subtle change in fishing activity without leading to lower catches of the main target species.

About that “earthy” flavor and organic flakes. Aquaculture accelerated through research and individual guidance.

AquavlanEntrepreneurship in aquaculture is a great challenge that also offers many opportunities. For three years, the Interreg project Aquavlan2 has supported the aquaculture and glasshouse horticulture sector in the border region between Flanders and the Netherlands by performing research and giving individual guidance. Within this program, ILVO developed a way to reduce the earthy flavor in aquaculture water, and tested the application of organic flakes as feed for different species.

Tackling the formation of ammonia in poultry at the source. Reducing crude protein in feed by 10% to 20% gives promising results.

poeltryA reduction of 10 - 20% in the crude protein content of feed during the growing and finishing phase yielded promising results in terms of ammonia concentrations in the broiler houses. This is shown by the first results of the VLAIO project KUIKEMIS, which started a year ago and aims at a more sustainable poultry farming by tackling ammonia concentrations at the source.

In the spotlight

ILVO commits to more transparency on animal testing

poeltryAbout 20 Belgian research centers and companies, including ILVO, signed a transparency agreement on experiments involving animals. Together they are committed to communicating more openly about scientific experiments using animals.

Infographics (status per species, year and zone) supplemented by data 2019

infographicsOn the eve of the European Fisheries Council on 16-17 December 2019 in Brussels - where fishing opportunities for 2020 will be discussed at political level - ILVO and VLIZ will publish, according to annual practice, the summary infographics on all 58 species fished by the Belgian fleet. The series now includes the scientifically established status of the fish stocks for 2019, together with the quantities actually fished in 2018, as well as the quotas (TAC) for 2019 based on that data.

From smoothies to hummus. Many companies participated in the workshop "Mixing solutions for the food industry".

vacuum mixerOn 17 October 2019, two new mixing systems were demonstrated in the Food Pilot. That pilot food processing plant was expanded with 2 semi-industrial production machines for the preparation of sauces, emulsions and pre-mixes. This was done with the support of the ERDF.