Pireco Gezonde Groei

Pireco Strawberry Special (strawberry grower Joep Henselmans)

How does Joep Henselmans, co-owner of Firma Henselmans, experience the use of Pireco products?
04-05-2020

Joep Henselmans and his brother Joost are the owners of Firma Henselmans. In 1956 his grandfather exchanged the farm in North Holland for a farm in Luttelgeest. There they started the cultivation of various crop, including the propagation of strawberry plants. After a few years, the company fully switched its focus towards strawberry propagation. Joep's father and two uncles continued the company and over 10 years ago, Joep and his brother eventually took over. Father Arnold (72) still works fanatically at the company every day.

The focus of the company

“The focus of Firma Henselmans is on the propagation of strawberry plants for both the private and professional market. Coming year, the company will grow 33 hectares of strawberry plants mainly in open field cultivation in and around Luttelgeest. In addition to cultivation in open ground, we also produce tray plants on a tray field, as that is the future of strawberry propagation. The production for these tray plants takes place on covered racks next to the company. There we will be able to produce more than a million tray plants. It’s our goal to expand this somewhat every year”, says Joep.

Joep en Joost Henselmans

The granulate seems to be doing a good job, the root system is now in good shape.

Greatest dangers during cultivation

The biggest dangers in our cultivation are thrips, mites and fungi such as phytophthora. Damage caused by thrips can cause problems for our customers at a later stage. Therefore it is very important that we can control thrips. Mildew is also common, but that is very manageable for us. Fortunately, we do not suffer much from soil insects. In the past few years we have had trouble with wireworms a couple of times and whenever that happens, we rely on Tercol.

Preventive treatmens

More and more we are preventively applying the Pireco products in our treatment plan. To control mildew, we use standard Herfomyc, and for leaf insects we use Folisec and Herfosec. In addition, we always monitor our soil in advance for harmful nematodes and fungi, so that we know where to expect problems. In case of nematodes, we locally apply Nemater. We also use Stimuter to promote the rooting of the strawberry plants. Because Stimuter can also be used as a foliar spray, we include it every time we spray.

This year, during planting, we used a granulate mix of Stimuter and Nemater. The product is mixed in the production hall at Pireco, so we do not have to do that ourselves and a good ratio is ensured. The granulate appears to do its job well, as the root system is in good shape.

Application is sometimes difficult

The method of application sometimes makes it difficult for us to use Pireco products. Many of the products we spray have to get to the root of the plant. We use a lot of water when spraying, but for optimal effect we must sprinkle the product. We do not have a fixed sprinkler system but use a reel irrigation system instead. After every treatmen

t with Pireco products the reel should be pulled out, but that is not always possible in terms of labor and time. Certainly in recent years when it has been quite dry this remains a challenge.

Confidence in Pireco products

I have a lot of confidence in the Pireco products, but I still find it difficult to exactly see what the effects are. We do not carry out tests ourselves and always treat the entire field. We probably should set up some trials to better determine the difference the products make. We have been using the Pireco products for years and have noticed that pests and diseases have become more easily manageable. Undoubtedly, this will have something to do with the Pireco products.

In the early years we actually used Pireco too often to put out “fires” and that is not how the products work. You are better of using chemistry in that case and when once the problem is manageable you can switch back to Pireco. We have all learned a lot from these experiences. With the Pireco products it is much better to start early and continuously repeat the treatments.

The future of Pireco

I foresee a bright future for Pireco. More and more you hear positive stories about the products and that gives cultivators confidence. In addition, the market keeps expanding due to the disappearance of various chemical agents. People’s way of thinking is changing as well and they are more willing to choose alternative means.

More information? Please feel free to contact us.

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