Almost fifty people participated in the Nutriman workshop (17 October, 2019) organised by PCS. The group comprised of policy makers (2), researchers (17), technology providers (fertiliser companies (4) and substrate companies (5)) and growers (21).
In the morning a small group of invitees (users (4) + compost company (1) + fertiliser company (1) + researchers (9)+government(1)) could evaluate the results of our demonstration trial with compost mixed in the potting soil and give feedback for future trials. We also discussed the consequences of the new fertiliser regulation for the specific case of 2 growers. The participants provided the companies and researchers a very clear direction in which we should proceed for compost production and application possibilities. An important issue was the RHP-certification of the alternative/compost mixed substrates.
During the afternoon, the event was open to all, where participants could give feedback on the current demonstration trials with compost (ID272, ID292) that have been shown at PCS. Here the Nutriman demonstration trial was shown where we compared the growth and quality of pot grown Chrysanthemum and Acer campestre in a standard substrate with fertiliser rates of 50%, 70% and 100% to substrate mixes in which 40% compost was used (60% standard substrate + 40% compost). Here a comparison was made between the fertilisers: compost, a singular N-fertiliser and CRF’s. In addition we showed them several other options to recycle nutrients, such as using recycled substrates, using “waste” from nature management in potting soils for Azalea indica and Chamaecyparis elwoodii and re-using phosphorous that was eliminated from drain water with ICS, by mixing the ICS in potting soils for Hedera helix and Chamaecyparis elwoodii. The attendees were shown a wide variety of plants growing in the different media and were pleased with the diverse content of the workshop.
To finalise the afternoon, Vlaco presented the legal framework for composting and farm composting during an interesting presentation on ‘composting, do it yourself or not?’. There was an interesting discussion on the contradictions that appear in the current legislations under which composting falls. An uniformisation of rules is here adviseable and was the main conclusion. In the meanwhile a lot of growers are obstructed to use more compost than at present because of the fertiliser regulation.
Finally, the growers had an opportunity to give their opinion on the use of compost and provide us insights in their main priorities with regard to the exact composition of compost and the application of compost at their own companies. This part was conducted by Vlaco and ILVO. Twelve growers actively participated.