ILVO Newsletter October 2015

From Polyphagotarsonemus to Serratia, from rural development to proteolysis, from cramp-pulse to roller-crimper… Behind these colorful terms you can find living organisms, real processes and innovative technologies that have been studied or developed in the last few months by ILVO researchers. Questions? Comments? Share them with us via email, Facebook or Twitter!

Hot off the press

Raw milk, cold-stored, in hot Brazil. Como vai?

rauwe melkSerratia and Pseudomonas are important producers of heat-resistant proteases in cold-stored raw milk in Brazil.
Milk the cows, cool the milk, heat the milk, and voilà - no more spoiled milk. Right? Research at ILVO in collaboration with Brazilian partners indicated that storage conditions of raw milk strongly affect shelf life of milk products. Besides Pseudomonas, other cold-tolerant bacteria such as Serratia liquefaciens may produce heat-resistant enzymes which cause spoilage of heat-treated milk.

Weed reservoirs and “hitchhiking” viroids: assessing transmission risks in agriculture and horticulture in Flanders.

tomatenplantILVO and Ghent University are unraveling the interactions between insects, viroids and host plants, thereby creating more clarity about the transmission risks and economic impacts of viroid infections. Viroids are the smallest pathogens known, and their spread in our greenhouses, e.g., by insects, may inflict serious damage in vegetable crops such as tomatoes and peppers.

Cultural sustainability or sustainability as culture?

culturele duurzaamheidWhat is the role of culture in the notion of “sustainability”? Is it a fourth pillar alongside ecology, economy and society? Or is culture the visible embodiment of the outcomes of sustainability? An international team of experts have investigated these questions.



An electrified fishing net? Reducing the bycatch in trawls by means of electrified release panels in the net.

visnet op stroomResearch of ILVO scientist Maarten Soetaert and his colleagues showed that electrified release panels can significantly reduce fish and benthos bycatch with a minimal loss of marketable sole. Previous release panel designs dealt with slack and subsequent damage to the net, as well as an unacceptable loss of commercial sole. Inserting benthos release panels (BRP) in a rectangular net with straight footrope eliminated this problem and reduced the loss of marketable sole. When an additional electric stimulus was added to the BRP, no sole larger than 25 cm were lost.

What do we know about agriculture and phosphorus? Results from a literature study

fosfor literatuurstudieNew legislation regarding the application of phosphorus on agricultural soils in Flanders (MAP5) aims to restrict the phosphorus fertilization to improve the water quality, but without compromising the phosphorus needs of the soil and crops. But what do we know about agriculture and phosphorus? A literature study performed by ILVO focuses on three main topics: availability of phosphorus in soil and fertilization, phosphorus losses from agricultural soils, and measures to decrease phosphorus concentrations in water.

IMAGO: toolbox for region-specific rural development

ImagoHow can we make a rural project run smoothly? How can we make the involved stakeholders cooperate in an integrated and positive way? And how can we attune the diversity of rural development processes that are going on in an area? These questions are the central theme of the IMAGO project.

The older the maize silage, the less milk. Which factors affect rumen bypass of starch and protein of silage maize and CCM and how can we estimate these parameters in an easy way?

inkuilduurThe longer maize is ensiled, the more starch is degraded in the rumen; this is the conclusion of a recently completed research project done at ILVO and the University College Ghent. Per month of longer storage the rumen bypass of starch of both silage maize and CCM decrease by 1.3 percentage points, thus increasing the risk for rumen acidosis and lower milk production.


Ready, set, go!

Messy eaters cost money. Demonstration project focuses on feed spillage on pig farms

vlevavoerILVO, together with partners PVL, KU Leuven, Ghent University and Vives, is working on the demonstration project “Reducing feed consumption for sustainable pig production”. The aim of the project is to raise farmer awareness of the importance of feed spillage on their farms.



To P or not to P… Economically and environmentally sustainable phosphorus use in agriculture in Flanders

verantwoord fosforgebruikHigh enough for a good yield, low enough to limit environmental losses: this is our goal for phosphorus. In a new VLM-financed research project, ILVO, Bodemkundige Dienst van België and KU Leuven investigate how phosphorus use can become acceptable for both agriculture and environment.


Small is beautiful? Opportunities and stumbling blocks during the transition to small-scale, low-impact fisheries

sportvisserijSmall-scale fisheries – fisheries using small boats and with low environmental impact – have great potential to contribute to a diversified and sustainable future fleet. The most recent Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) encourages development of small-scale commercial fishing, but the transition is not easy for either the existing commercial fleet nor recreational fishers. The bottlenecks of this transition are inventoried as part of the Low-Impact Fisheries (LIVIS) project, a collaboration between ILVO and the Flemish Institute for the Sea (VLIZ).

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