ILVO Newsletter October 2017

The harvest is in – time to make the reckoning. What is the soybean quality? Do we have enough maize acreage to feed our dairy cattle? Which biomass rest streams contain bioactive components? This ILVO Newsletter offers a selection of research results and newly-started projects. ILVO not only writes these results down, but we are increasingly communicating via video – made in-house. In this edition you can watch videos about the I-Love-T research project.

Hot of the press

85 years of plant breeding at ILVO

85 years of plant breeding at ILVOIn September, ILVO celebrated 85 years of plant breeding with a proud retrospective and the announcement of future plans. ILVO’s plant breeders have already created 250 new plant varieties, 124 of which are sold by 35 companies across the globe. New research themes include drought resistant crops such as sorghum, resistance against mold infections in boxwood, multiple plague resistance in potatoes, early ripening soy with a high protein content, and the development of local quinoa cultivation.

Broiler chicken welfare before slaughter: Monitoring protocol and online integration tool now available

broiler chicken welfareILVO has developed a pre-slaughter welfare monitoring protocol based on research on the welfare of broiler chickens during their last day of life. This protocol and associated online tool can be used to calculate welfare scores of a flock. Thanks to these developments, pre-slaughter broiler chicken welfare can now be efficiently and structurally assessed.

Connecting farmers in food networks: a question of structure and culture

food networksFood teams, auctions and farm co-ops are all examples of food networks. They are created to answer to the needs and challenges of modern-day producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers and consumers. How do these food networks actually work, and how can the connections within the food networks be supported? These are the questions that Kirsten Vanderplanken asked at the beginning of her doctoral research. After in-depth interviews and network analyses of three food networks in Flanders, she suggests a number of recommendations to improve the functioning of the networks.

The picturesque landscape around Voeren is being threatened: can we preserve the quality of a landscape via agriculture?

landscape around VoerenINBO, VLM, VITO and ILVO have released a first series (5 reports) from a research project with the aim of maintaining the unique landscape in Voeren. The ILVO results show that a very important mechanism behind landscape change is the increase in arable farming in the area, at the expense of (grass-based) dairy farming.

Why and how miscanthus straw contributes to sustainable substrates, explained in a 3-min video

I-Love-TAt ILVO, we investigate the use of plant fibers, biochar, chitin and compost in sustainable substrates. In het MIP-project ‘I-Love-T: inoculation of local plant fibers for the production of sustainable substrates’, we studied whether peat can partially be replaced by extruded miscanthus straw that is pre-colonized with biocontrol fungi.

Ready, set, go!

“Boosting” the bio-economy: The EU horticultural sector as a core bio-based economic activity

boosting the bio-economyAs a partner in the BioBoost project ILVO will investigate how to stimulate the development of a bio-based economy in horticulture. Key questions are: "Which available residues in greenhouse horticulture can be better valorized?", "What is technically possible in light of the newest technologies and scientific insights?" and "Is it also economically feasible to implement newly built food chains on a business scale?"

Diet and gut flora. Europe stimulates research, ILVO communicates project results

JPIA healthy gut flora for all: that’s the ultimate goal of the European network HDHL-INTIMIC. Fourteen international partners will guide and fund international research to increase knowledge of how dietary choices influence our gut flora. ILVO’s role as partner is to communicate background information and research results to stakeholders.

Food for special interest groups in restaurants? Transferring knowledge to restaurateurs about adapting their recipes to meet the needs of target groups (INNOCHEF)

foodLess sugar, less salt, low-fat, gluten-free, easy to swallow, without any allergens…re-inventing or adjusting recipes and food prep for target groups is an important evolution in the food industry. But how can this be translated to restaurants and hotels, while still respecting culinary tradition? Partners from the INNOCHEF project organize workshops about product innovation, aiming for even higher achievements in the professional kitchen.

Medicines in pig feed. Homogeneity, stability and carry-over of veterinary drugs added to feed and water for group treatment of pigs.

pigsAdding medicine to feed or water is one way to treat a group of pigs against infections or parasites. But is the medicine then distributed homogeneously? Does it stay stable? Does this practice lead to residues? In order to answer these and related questions, ILVO, UGent and GEMAFA started a research project on the homogeneity, stability and carry-over of some frequently used veterinary drugs. The final goal is to formulate concrete recommendations concerning good practices for group treatment of pigs.

Drone seeks pilot - pilot seeks drone. Development of a demand-driven market for UAVs

drone seeks pilotVia demonstration events with drones and surveys, the goal of the ICAReS project is to encourage use of UAV applications in three sectors: agriculture, water and infrastructure, and nature and forest management. This proactive approach should lead over time to partner-matching and innovation in the sector.



Agro-ecology in the Flemish bovine sector: gridlock or opportunity?

agro-ecologyWhy are agro-ecological principles not being embodied in the Flemish cattle sector? Can agro-ecological knowledge put cattle farms on a path towards sustainability? ILVO seeks to answer these questions by capturing the farm characteristics as well as the farmer’s “mental landscape” using the technique of “Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping”.

Why count anglers fishing at sea? Monitoring of the Belgian recreational fisheries in relation to the fisheries and marine spatial planning.

anglers fishingWhat is the current situation of the recreational fisheries? What about the species caught? Where is the majority of the recreational anglers active? Do we see changes from year to year? Is there a relationship between the recreational and commercial fisheries? Whit this set of questions, ILVO, VLIZ and the Federal Government Health, Food chain safety and Environment, started the monitoring of the Belgian recreational fisheries. The data are used to support the European Common Fisheries Policy, the Marine Strategic Framework Directive and OSPAR.