Leuveld and the environment

Bart and Michel proudly show the projects they’re working on. The world is changing rapidly and sustainability and care for the nature in which we work also play’s a major role at Leuveld. Water scarcity, reducing crop protection agents, monitoring biodiversity and caring for the soil our plants grow in are the basis for a number of progressive projects.

Newly constructed irrigation systems: small compact pumps are installed on all newly planted plots. These pumps are used to pump small amounts of water into the irrigation hoses in a very constant flow. Everywhere you see hoses disappearing into the ground between the lines of freshly planted plots. Michel says that by using this technique, we currently save up to 60% water. With the new underground drip irrigation, they get a dosed amount of water every day. They get water directly at the roots of the plants and not on the leaves, which don’t like that at all. ‘We can see the difference’, says Bart.

The plants grow faster and healthier and we also have to fight much less against fungi and other diseases because the plants stay stronger and healthier. And it’s also much less of a drag in the dry, hot summer months, they chuckle. Loads of advantages, then, not to mention that it’s healthier and more pleasant for plants and people.

Crop protection

Another great project is the use of low volume spraying technology (L.V.S.). This technique is based on spraying the soil against weeds in a much more targeted way and in very small doses. In the past, an entire field was sprayed in one go with a constant mix of products. Nowadays, we can spray quickly and efficiently against harmful organisms at very low doses. Again, there are numerous practical advantages: we can work in a much more targeted way, we use far fewer agents, so growth is less restricted, and finally, we save a lot of money. What more could you want…..?


Soil improvements

Finally, we drive past a field of Taxus baccata. Bart explains that this planting was done this year. ‘We planted these plants on a plot where we had to do a lot with the soil. It was land used by a farmer and we had to work the soil intensively. Fresh soil is in itself very good for growing, but it often lacks the necessary organic substances and soil bacteria. Since this year, we’ve been testing agents that stimulate this soil life and stimulate the transfer of organic substances to the plants. These are new products for our sector, made from organic residues such as compost and the like. We’re testing this because we’re convinced that a good soil is the start of healthy growth. That’s why we always sow the plots with green manure every three years. We have to give something back if we want to harvest something. We’re all convinced of that’.