ILVO Newsletter May 2019

Ready, set, go!

Mapping the seabed-dwelling species in the North Sea using automated DNA recognition

GEANS DNAEcological monitoring of the North Sea will become more accurate and efficient due to the work of a 3-year European research project (the Interreg North Sea Project GEANS). ILVO is coordinator, with scientists from all North Sea countries participating. For several hundred seabed animals (worms, amphipods, shells, snake stars, etc.), so-called DNA barcodes are developed. Once in a digital DNA library, the presence of the species in question can be machine-detected in a sample of seawater or seabed substrate.

Towards optimal weaning feed composition for organic piglets

EU - PDPOWhy do organic piglets – despite their higher weaning age – eat less well right after weaning? And how can we formulate and produce an organic weaning feed that is better absorbed by piglets, taking into account the nutritional needs of the organic piglets and while staying within a certain price range? ILVO, the Pig Information Center, organic pig farmers, Ghent University, CCBT, Bioforum and feed mills have joined forces to tackle these questions within the operational group BioBIG.

FABulous Farmers takes ag to another level

fabulous farmersThe European project “FABulous Farmers” – FAB stands for Functional Agro-biodiversity- encourages farmers to incorporate nature wisely into their business operations. The project runs in five countries and has 12 pilot areas.





Looking for the right (potting) mix: sustainable substrates for ornamental cultivation

ornamental cultivationIn the 4-year VLAIO-LA project BI-O-PTIMAL-at-WORK, ILVO, KU Leuven and PCS, will study possible sustainable substrates for various ornamental plants. The aim is to find good turf replacements, soil improving agents and suitable beneficial micro-organisms.




Striking results

Map of 1,400 demo farms in Europe: European research project improves recipes for successful demonstrations. Training kit for demo farmers and roadmap for organizers is now available.

FarmDemoWhat are the do’s and don’ts when organizing demos for farmers? How can you make a program rich, easy to understand and attractive to the audience? What tools can you use to promote easy interaction among participants? And how do you discuss more sensitive subjects?
Thanks to 3 European Farm Demo projects (which work intensively together) there is now a training kit and a handy roadmap with tips and good examples, compiled on the basis of scientific observations and analyses of nearly 60 European cases. In order to further disseminate good practice, Europe is creating a living network between demo farmers. The databank already contains 1,400 farms and organisations. About 40 of them are located in Flanders.

A breath of fresh air: this is what we know about the air purifying effect of plants

GreenAirWhat effect do plants have on air quality, both indoors and outdoors? Which plants will work best in which area, and how do you plant them for optimal air purification? Thanks to Green-Air we now have an idea. Can a limited number of ferns suffice to purify the air in an office space of 9m2, and does a green façade have more effect on the amount of fine dust in a narrow street than a tree with a wide canopy? How many volatile organic compounds, gases and particulate matter that plants effectively remove from the air depends on many factors: the amount of light, air movement, initial air pollution, leaf shape, etc.

New digital 3D growth model of soy is now more powerful by adding a water availability factor

3D growth model soyFor the first time, the 'water availability' factor has been added to photosynthesis in a digital 3D plant model for soy. This means that the growth of the crop can be explained better than before. In plant research, 3D models ensure that the behavior of an individual plant is better understood as a reaction to varying conditions – even without having to perform field experiments.


In the spotlight

2019 Update of infographics on the status of fish stocks fished by the Belgian fleet

status of fish stocksWhere do Belgian fishermen catch what species? And what are the fish stocks in those places? In 2018, a series of summarizing infographics was published for the first time. Now those infographics have been greatly expanded and updated based on the catch data for 2018 and quotas for 2019.






Short-chain marketing facilitates on-farm research by ILVO

on-farmILVO has set up a structural research collaboration with a number of farms active in the short chain. The intention a clever extension of ILVO’s experimental field area to include agricultural models that are not yet present on the ILVO fields. The initiative embodies the idea of “living lab”, an environment in which an existing practice research is conducted. To begin, 6 farms have been selected in Flanders, each with a different profile, product range and business plan.


Sign up for our demo project 'Climate in pig housing' and optimize the climate of your pig barn

pigDo your pigs have health or animal welfare problems that may be due to a suboptimal indoor climate? Then sign up for the demo project 'Climate in pig housing' and get a good look at the indoor climate your pigs live in.