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College What about Soil (EN): ’Hidden innovations and challenges in horticulture'

What about Soil goes above ground! You are welcome to join our lecture on 14 March from 18:00h - 20:30h, free of charge. Professionals Andre van der Wurff, Carina Eisfeld and Tim Brouwers will tell you more about the theme of the evening: 'Hidden innovations and challenges in horticulture'.

What about Soil goes above ground

Please note that this is a one-off edition in English. Also, this lecture will only take place physically at HAS green academy in Den Bosch. 

The main focus this evening is on the substrates of horticulture. Both soil and substrate share similarities, as both require optimal conditions for plant root growth, aiming to cultivate healthy plants with robust root systems. In horticulture, challenges include reducing water and peat usage. While water recirculation faces disease and microbe buildup, enhancing soil biology is a potential solution. Despite peat being a limited resource from fragile ecosystems, its reduction in horticulture is challenging, given its ideal role in substrates.

18:00 - 20:30

The programme

  • 17:00h (optional): light meal
  • 18:00h: first speaker(s) 
  • 19:00h: break
  • 19:15h: second speaker(s)
  • 20:30h: end of the lecture 

More about the speakers

Andre van der Wurff
Dr. André W.G. van der Wurff, an expert in soil ecology, earned a Bachelor's in Biology and Dutch language, followed by an MSc in ecology at the University of Amsterdam. After a post-doc position at Wageningen University, he became a Senior Project Manager at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. His research was related to soil health and disease suppression as a sustainable alternative to chemical crop protection. Since October 2016, he has served as the R&D Manager at Groen Agro Control and Foundation Control in Food & Flowers. 

Carina Eisfeld
Dr. Carina Eisfeld, an environmental microbiologist passionate about plant health and sustainable cultivation, earned her master's degree in Biology at the Technical University of Munich, specializing in microbiology and plant sciences. She pursued a PhD at TU Delft, focusing on analyzing water quality to prevent the spread of plant diseases and safeguard food crops. Currently, she works as a researcher in microbial ecology at Stichting Control in Food & Flowers. 

In this edition of What about Soil, Andre and Carina will discuss boosting substrate biology and mitigating water recirculation risks.

Tim Brouwers
Tim Brouwers is a junior representative in the tree cultivation sector at Kekkilä-BVB. He graduated from HAS green academy, University of Applied Sciences in Venlo with a degree in Business Administration Agri-Business. He's currently tackling challenges, such as transitioning from peat to peat-free on the substrate sector. With the team, he's actively exploring solutions for growers and strategizing the implementation of this transition within the company.

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