Mobile cultivation tables and hybrid lighting deliver more efficiency, better selection and even more reliability in quality. After two years of deliberation, design and development, Royal Van Zanten has introduced a completely new sustainable system for selection in the Alstroemeria breeding sector. Mobile, low roller tables and hybrid lighting with LED and Son-T ensure space-saving, faster flowering, even more reliable quality and a saving on scarce labour.
No more taking care of rejected plants
Alstroemeria breeding requires a lot of skill, time and space. Seedlings are planted, form a substantial rhizome (rootstock) and then remain in the greenhouse in the full ground for a whole season. Even after the selection, during which approximately 95% of the seedlings are rejected, each plant requires care, light and space. The well cared for, but rejected plants end up on the rubbish heap at the end of the season.
‘This process has been in need for renewal for some time,’ says Dave Geerlings, Alstroemeria breeder at Royal Van Zanten. ‘So in 2020 we started an innovation project. Roller tables and the corresponding systems for the Alstroemeria cultivation and breeding were custom developed by our team in cooperation with the suppliers.’
Gaining time and space
With the new cultivation and selection system, Royal Van Zanten has achieved a big improvement in the selection process. ‘We are gaining time and space,’ says Dave. ‘The rejected plants are eliminated immediately, which means that we can use much less space. In addition, the new rolling tables take up less space than the regular cultivation beds, even though more plants fit on them. This is partly because they only have to accommodate the small plants, and partly because much less space is needed for walkways between the rolling tables. So it’s a double win.’
A renewed and sustainable lighting formula
The lighting system has also been upgraded. This contributes to the efficiency improvement and ensures a better connection to the market. The combination of sustainable LED and Son-T lighting ensures faster flowering, allowing for earlier and better selection.
The seedlings that pass the first table selection are planted in the soil for the second selection. The new light formula is also applied there. With this innovation, selected plants grow in conditions comparable to those of our partners, the growers. This gives them even more certainty about the quality and characteristics of our varieties. #wecaresoweact