ILVO Newsletter October 2018

Will we make vinaigrette with pumpkin seed oil in the future? Will we be able to grow vegetables without plowing? Will all fish species in the sea be equally well protected? And will we be able to cope with repeated droughts? We work towards a sustainable future through research and innovation.

Hot off the press

A win for the environment but a loss for harvest yields. No-till management of green cover and application of the roller crimper is not yet a workable option for organic vegetable cultivation.

roller-crimperThe choice for no-till, in combination with use of the roller crimper has some pluses, like increased beneficial biodiversity, climate mitigation potential, increase of organic matter in the soil, and reduced use of fuel. Unfortunately, this management choice still results in substandard yield results, according to tests of the SOILVEG project in 9 European countries. In Flanders, ILVO and Inagro conducted tests with white cabbage. The marketable revenue was disappointing. "More research is needed to see how the roller crimper could be used in organic vegetable cultivation," says Koen Willekens of ILVO.

High-quality oils from local farmers offer opportunities in the bio-based economy

oilsProcessors, traders and researchers with an interest in oil-bearing crops met for the first time this summer for an inspiration session. This session was part of the cross-border project 'Growing a green future', which aims to set up new chains for the bio-based economy.

Ready, set, go!

Protections for by-catch in a mixed fishery?

probyfishNow that the European landing obligation has become reality, the question is how by-catch species in a mixed fishery can be properly protected. The new EU project PROBYFISH examines which management measures can help answer that question.

Own soil, clean soil? Heating residual soil from potato crops for qualitative reintroduction onto the farm

residual soilFlanders’ FOOD and ILVO, together with the Belgian Soil Service and Ghent University, are developing a method to kill nematodes in the waste soil from potato-processing plants using residual heat. An effective and efficient 'soil cleaning' is required before soil can be reintroduced to the fields and greenhouses.

Irrigation project helps the farmers make the best choices

irrigationMore efficient irrigation for optimal use of available water is the goal of project "Irrigation 2.0", which started on the 1st of October 2018. A user-friendly public-access online platform will visualize the need for irrigation water as well as the supply of alternative water sources.

New emission project aims to tackle ammonia emissions at the source

poultryPoultry farms often use end-of-pipe techniques to reduce the resulting emissions to the environment. The project entitled 'Towards more sustainable poultry farming via source reduction of ammonia emissions' reverses turns this around and tries to reduce the amount of ammonia emission from the source.

Experiments with agroecology

agroecologyFlemish, Walloon and French researchers join forces again in the TRANSAE project. They will support a group of agricultural pioneers in their transition to agro-ecology. Knowledge and experience from experiments and analyses will be used to strengthen both the operational management of the participating farmers and to reach a broader group of interested farmers.

ILVO exhibited FOOD and AGROTECHNICAL INNOVATIONS at technology exhibition SUPERNOVA - Festival of the future during the weekend of 29 and 30 September 2018 in Antwerp.

ILVO had three stands at the Supernova trade show: two typical Food Pilot demonstrations showed how equipment builders, lab workers and nutrition specialists reinforce each other on the way to creating more sustainable food. And ILVO presented how the Internet of Things is going to change the entire food production chain.


  • ILVO’s dairy laboratory uses the latest detective technology to identify the animal species that supplied the milk for your mozzarella.
  • Learn what unprecedented wealth lies in our Flemish fruit. Which antioxidants can be found in which apple varieties, and above all, how much of them still end up in your juice after pressing?
  • Climb into the 4.0 tractor and ditto sprayer. In combination with a drone, they see and decide on which half square meter how much product should be sprayed. An inspiring case in which big data and smart farming makes the farmer work more precisely and more economically. Just try and imagine how much environmental gains this 'smart farmers' can produce.



SUMARiS training video - RAMP methodology for thornback rays
One of the goals of the INTERREG 2-Seas SUMARiS project is to quantify vitality, reflex impairment, injury and survival probability of different ray species discarded in the English Channel and the North Sea after being captured with active (beam trawl, otter trawl) or passive (gill nets, trammel nets) fishing gears.