Jos Goossens ‘customer at Pireco from the start’ is owner of Flevoplant and co-owner of Flevoberry in Ens. The original company was founded in 1958 by Jos' parents. In 1980 Jos comes into the picture of the company and the first steps towards strawberry plant propagation are taken. In a short time, Flevoplant grows into a world-class player with a wide range of short day and sustained strawberry varieties. In order to meet demand and guarantee high quality, a branch was opened in Radachow, Poland, seventeen years later. In 1999, the breeding branch was set up to develop new strawberry varieties that can extend the season. In 2015 this became an independent breeding company, under the name Flevoberry.
“What can be done organic should be done organic”. That is the philosophy that we follow on Flevoplant and Flevoberry, according to Jos. We therefore use many different Pireco products in our crops. We use Nemater in fields where we expect problems with Nematodes. We apply Herfosec and Folisec as standard to keep the pressure of thrips and other leaf insects manageable. We use Herfomyc for resistance to mildew and Tercol for soil-dwelling insects. Stimuter is the product we use the most, to develop a vital plant with a strong root system.
“Personally, I was also very involved in the development of Stimuter. I called Wim van Garderen (founder Pireco) and told him that a strawberry field did not want to grow. So I asked Wim if he could develop a product to boost the growth of the strawberry field. Wim was confident that he could solve the problem. A couple days later he finished the product and we started out by testing the product on a number of plants. From that moment on, you saw the plants getting stronger every day. I ordered a few hundred liters of the product and that was actually the beginning of Stimuter”.
The greatest dangers in our cultivation are root diseases and phytophthora, diseases that once affected are difficult to remedy. Because of our investments into plant vitality, we have had little trouble with difficult diseases in recent years. A plant that is strong and healthy does not generally get sick; same as with humans. Pireco products greatly help up to achieve this.
We can control other infestations reasonably well. For mildew, we can treat the strawberry plants with Pireco agents for a long time. We know that mold eventually gains the upper hand. This is often around July, we then spray once or twice with chemistry and then we continue the treatment with Pireco. In addition, the effectiveness of chemistry is also increasing. Normally you spray a lot with mildew and then immunity is created by frequent spraying with the chemical.
We are one of the first major customers of Pireco and the cooperation has been going well since the beginning. The communication lines are short and that makes it pleasant to work together. In addition, we have gained great trust and confidence from working together on the development of different products, in short, the same language has been spoken for years. Perhaps communication will change slightly in the coming years as Pireco is also growing. But that is how it all started.
Years ago we had a field infested with nematodes, I had already given up the field. I had already asked one of the cultivators to attach the cultivator behind the tractor with the order to destroy the field. Leo Mabesoone (cultivation advisor) came by and he talked about a good product that had a supporting effect on nematodes. We then used Nemater as a test and in the end I was still able to harvest 80% of the field. That was our first introduction to Pireco and then I really thought “hey wow, what is happening here”, in Jos’ words.
Although I am very positive about Pireco’s products, we also experienced that the product did not have its desired effect. After years of experience with the product, you notice that the products have strict instructions for use and that treatments must be repeated. It is important to carefully consider how to use the product. Do you spray at the right time, is it the desired temperature, do you use enough water? For example, if you spray with temperatures above 25 degrees, the stomata will be closed and the product is not absorbed.
It is a learning process that you go into and as a cultivator you have to be open to that. We have often sprayed or sprinkled products for which the effect was ultimately not very good. I know from experience that these are good products, so it really depends on the way of application. How we could do that better has been a long learning process for both us and Pireco.
The different ways of applying can make the use of Pireco products difficult. This could be indicated more clearly by Pireco. If the product has to reach the roots, a lot of water must be used in the treatment. If the product is absorbed by the leaf of the strawberry plant, then clearly indicate that the product must be sprayed early in the morning or late in the evening.
I foresee a very favorable future for Pireco, at least if you are given the opportunity. The market is very large and I personally think that you can solve 80% of the problems with organic means. Chemistry can then be used for serious infestations. However, I sometimes fear that you are “crushed”, as it were, by the big chemical giants, who are ultimately not very welcoming to companies like Pireco. In addition, the development of biological agents is still greatly opposed.
More information? Please feel free to contact Pireco.