What exactly will hyacinth cultivation in the Netherlands look like in a decade? No one really knows, but there is clearly a future for these flowers, with different paths leading to it. That became clear during a well-attended interactive meeting on September 30, 2021.

Greenport Duin- en Bollenstreek (an agricultural cooperative), the Dutch Royal General Bulbgrowers Association (KAVB), Markglory (a flower wholesaler), and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) organized this event. Attendees discussed the latest results from current research into sustainable hyacinth cultivation, and participants from all the hyacinth chain links reviewed the research's status.

The research aims to shorten the time it takes to grow hyacinths outdoors, which will considerably reduce the risk of viruses and diseases, such as Pythium. It is, therefore, necessary to carry out part of the cultivation under covered conditions. Wouter Groenink and Natalia Moreno are the researchers on this project.

They said partly growing hyacinths indoors is possible, for example with LED lighting or specific temperature treatment, but there are still several questions that must be answered in the next few years. The hyacinth growers participating in this research confirmed this at the meeting.

For outdoor cultivation, studies are being done into growing these flowers out of the soil in a PPS 'Bollencoaster'. Initial results look good, says the WUR's Casper Slootweg. You can find more information about these research projects on Vital Crops' website.

Sustainable future perspective
The future, thus, looks to have a sustainable perspective, all five participants indicated during the concluding round table discussion, if, of course, certain conditions are beneficial. The most important of these is time. Research takes a long time before entrepreneurs can take the necessary steps. They would prefer not to anticipate the situation using half-baked conclusions.

Another condition is the continued availability of crop protection products. Those present believe company specialization is a realistic picture for the sector. 

You can watch the plenary and roundtable meetings (in Dutch) below.

POP3 Vital hyacinth cultivation
Various Dutch parties, of which Markglory is the principal, are taking part in this project: VOF P.C. van Saase & Zn, Kees van Haaster & Zn. B.V., Van Haaster Vijfhuizen, VOF Apeldoorn Bloembollen, VOF Th. A. Pennings & Zn, BQ Support BV, Iribov BV, Alb. Groot BV, KAVB, and Wageningen University & Research. It is being finance by the Province of South Holland's POP3 scheme. As well as the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and from the HagelUnie's Innovation Fund.

For more information:
Wageningen University & Research