Marius Mans of Mans Flowers is one of the first growers in the Dutch ornamental plant cultivation sector to firmly adhere to the guidelines of Next Generation Growing. “You become more conscious of your energy usage and that leads to savings. But optimizing growth remains the primary objective.”
Modern growers are increasingly becoming entrepreneurs who must know all about the many aspects of a modern greenhouse cultivation company. “Nowadays, regulation and control by a climate computer play an essential role in any of the larger companies”, says Mans. However, despite that fact, he believes that having green fingers is still very important. “Certainly in the case of Next Generation Growing, it is about making the right observations and using this information to choose the correct settings at the right time.
In the last few years, Mans Flowers has developed Next Generation Growing even further. He became more aware of his energy consumption, which was the first step towards making savings. However, the biggest added value is the optimal growth that he has experienced. “An optimal greenhouse climate greatly improves quality. I can now also deliver top quality products during the more difficult growing periods in the year. Insight into every detail of the plant’s growing process leads to many other opportunities.”
Balanced greenhouse climate
Mans has recently switched to Priva for his climate control needs. “I have made that choice because it gives me more options to achieve the ideal, balanced greenhouse climate. I get calculations in advance based upon a variety of parameters. And that helps me to take the right decision at the right time in order to achieve my goal.”
Fighting diseases and pests also has a very high priority, says Mans. “The gerbera is a bushy plant with a lot of leaves close to each other, which makes it difficult to treat diseases and fight pests. For that reason and also because we want to demonstrate corporate social responsibility, biological control is extremely important. It has to do with having the right balance and an integrated approach. A lot of knowledge has been gained about biological control in the Netherlands, which has given us an advantage over growers from other parts of the world. That helps us to be able to hold and improve our strong position in the future.”