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NL: Selecta's Magic Stars on tour

It is one of the highlights of the year at Selecta: the Magic Stars tour. The breeder, the largest in the poinsettia segment, combines the product trials with an excursion to a few growers, for which they invite all (potential) customers. This year, nursery Stadsweiden, nursery Baas and nursery Wouters, all from Ens, acted as host. These three growers are large poinsettia growers and are generally large and innovative companies. About 110 to 120 visitors, together accounting for more than 80% of the total poinsettia production acreage in the Netherlands, attended.

Click here for a photo report

Selecta organized the excursion for the seventh time, and each time at a different location. Last year, it was Westland's turn, and prior it was growers in Denmark and Germany hosting the event. Growers therefore not only came from the Westland; there were growers from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Scandinavia, Poland and more. "The idea originated because our headquarters in Frankfurt is quite far from all the horticultural areas. For a simple product presentation, it is difficult to bring the customers all the way here only for that. But this works: a fun and educational day off, and certainly this year I think we have made nice arrangements," according to Ton de Bresser, account manager at Selecta.

Big, bigger, biggest
As mentioned before, this is largely thanks to the inside look at the aforementioned nurseries. Nursery Stadsweiden is run by the brothers Jan and Johan van Straaten and covers different locations. The main cultivation is hydrangea, for which they also have plenty of open field hectares available. In addition, cyclamens, bedding plants and of course poinsettias are cultivated (with ‘Christmas Feeling’ as a main variety). Recently, 2.5 hectares of greenhouse was completed, a greenhouse built by Gakon and equipped with the latest technologies. Especially the glass is appealing: diffuse glass, with a 50% haze and a double coating, which is perfectly suited for the cultivation of hydrangeas and poinsettias.

Nursery Wouters is holding its own in many aspects. In fact, also here a new building section has just been completed. With this addition, a greenhouse of 17 hectares has been completed in sections over a 10-year period. To mark this, Wouters organized an open house for 300 guests last Friday, but they were willing to receive fellow growers earlier in the day. With another 15 hectares a little further away, and another 7 hectares in IJsselmuiden, the grower is one of the big boys in the market. And to highlight a special feature of the new greenhouse here, it is provided with a one-sided continuous ridge ventilation. The windows, made of 'low iron glass', can only be opened to one side. "This may not seem logical," says John van der Marel of Prins Group, "but by now, several projects have shown that significant gains can be achieved." According to John, better control of the crop is possible and, if needed, the installation of insect gauze is a lot easier and cheaper.

And finally, Nursery Baas, with 25 hectares, lives up to its name (Baas being Dutch for Boss). The grower has explicitly started with integrated cultivation and in their own words said that 'the chemistry outside has completely been replaced by bugs'. The group was also given a glimpse in the new wood burning plant, and even better, a new and unique bio-fermentation plant, built next to the existing wood burning plant. This bio-fermentation plant provides both heat and electricity, and in conjunction with the existing biomass boiler, it is possible to switch on the required energy of the moment. Thus, similar to Wouters, the complete energy needs is generated in a sustainable manner.

Click here for a photo report

For more information about the product range, the novelties and other questions about the afternoon, the nurseries and Selecta One, you can contact Ton de Bresser: mail or visit www.selecta-­

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