OTExperimental research facilities Field Crops


Ir. Chris de Visser
Edelhertweg 1, 8219 PH Lelystad

Modern and well equipped research facilities are available on different soil types throughout the Netherlands completed with climate and storage facilities for research purposes and a laboratory with quarantine status. Research facilities for the biobased economy and smart grid concepts are available both on labscale and larger scale level.

The intended infrastructure concerns experimental facilities in Lelystad, Vredepeel, Westmaas, Valthermond, Marwijksoord, Nagele and Randwijk. These facilities are used to support scientific progress underlying innovations in arable farming, field vegetable production, the biobased economy, smart grid developments and fruit research. The emphasis lies in Lelystad where 700 ha of clay soil area available of which a part is SKAL certified for organic farming and available for organic farming research. High-tech machinery with GPS control area available to support data collection. For weed control, the location is equipped with advanced weed control mechanisms. Next to this, the location is equipped with 32 climate cells that allow research under controlled conditions (temperature, light, controlled atmosphere). Some cells allow research on forcing of plant roost (like witloof chicory). A greenhouse with 10 compartments is available for small scale level research, part of which equipped with cooling facilities. On the location, a 30 year phosphate trial is situated where varying levels of phosphate in the soil are realized making this facility valuable for scientific research on the role of phosphorus in agriculture (including emissions). Also, a multiyear research facility has been created for soil quality research based on a variety of different soil cultivation technologies. This has been developed for both organic and non-organic farming. A laboratory is available that is well equipped for nematological, microbiological, fytopathological research. Also, soil physics research can be carried out with adequate equipment. A variety of centrifuges is available. In 2018 the Agroecology and Technology Test Location was opened. This location facilitates multidisciplinary research aimed at developing nature-inclusive and regenerative agricultural systems. On approximately 80 hectares of fertile reclaimed land there is room for experiments and exchanges and laying the foundation for an ecologically and economically sustainable agricultural system. The Lelystad location also houses installations used in biobased economy research. This includes a digester (1.000 m3 and 120 kW CHP) with advanced pretreatment machinery, a green gas separator (50 Nm3 per hour), refinery equipment including fermentors (2 vessels of 1.500 liter), sieves and centrifuges, algae production facilities (500 m2) and aquatic biomass research facilities equipped with cooling and warming facilities based on a heat pump. These installations are interconnected to facilitate waste stream re-use. The research value of these installations is enforced by matching labscale equipment on fermentation and algae growth. Finally, the location is equipped with a solar power research unit including a variety of solar panels and tracking systems. In Vredepeel, 130 ha of drought sensitive sandy soil is available for scientific research on arable and field vegetable crops. In Westmaas, a 78 ha experimental facility for young clay soils has been set up. In the two sandy soil and peat location, Valthermond and Marwijksoord, in total 164 ha of experimental fields are available. The Randwijk test site is the focal point for independent and practice-oriented innovation and knowledge development related to Dutch fruit production. The experimental garden is used for a mix of fundamental research and practical demonstrations in the field of sustainable fruit cultivation, modern breeds and rootstocks, efficient production systems and technology.

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Life Sciences & Health
Agri & Food
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