Competencies

18.07.2016
Hermann Limbers

Rese­arch and deve­lop­ment at Klasmann-Deilmann

Inno­va­ti­on and sustai­na­bi­li­ty

Klasmann-Deilmann’s repu­ta­ti­on as the most sustainab­le and inno­va­ti­ve com­pa­ny in the gro­wing media indus­try can be attri­bu­t­ed pri­ma­ri­ly to its gre­at com­mit­ment to rese­arch and deve­lop­ment. Espe­ci­al­ly in the field of alter­na­ti­ve sub­stra­te con­sti­tu­ents, its experts are con­stant­ly on the loo­kout for ways to pro­vi­de the best pos­si­ble sup­port for the company’s part­ners in the pro­fes­sio­nal hor­ti­cul­tu­ral busi­ness.

Assuming respon­si­bi­li­ty for the envi­ron­ment and socie­ty also means deve­lo­ping new gro­wing media while kee­ping an eye on the tech­ni­cal, eco­no­mic, eco­lo­gi­cal and soci­al aspec­ts of our pro­duc­ts. Klasmann-Deilmann does just that and is con­stant­ly rede­fi­ning the limits of what is pos­si­ble and what makes most sen­se from the hor­ti­cul­tu­ral point of view. As the industry’s inno­va­ti­on lea­der, Klasmann-Deilmann assu­med a pionee­ring role in the rese­arch and deve­lop­ment of alter­na­ti­ve sub­stra­te con­sti­tu­ents. In the ear­ly 1990s, it was the first com­pa­ny to deve­lop com­post gro­wing media, which were based on green com­post. To do so, it first had to set up its own com­pos­ting faci­li­ty and deve­lop an in-house qua­li­ty sys­tem, becau­se the qua­li­ty stan­dards in force at that time were not suf­fi­ci­ent­ly strict to estab­lish green com­post as a high-gra­de sub­stra­te con­sti­tu­ent. Klasmann-Deilmann also pro­du­ces its own wood fibres and is con­ti­nuous­ly enhan­cing this raw mate­ri­al.

Klasmann-Deilmann pur­su­es the­se objec­tives in clo­se coope­ra­ti­on with uni­ver­si­ties, col­le­ges, trai­ning and rese­arch cen­tres and with its sup­pliers, con­duc­ting joint rese­arch pro­jec­ts with the­se part­ners. The company’s experts are also in per­ma­nent con­sul­ta­ti­on with the pro­fes­sio­nal hor­ti­cul­tu­ral indus­try. They take note of the ide­as and requi­re­ments sta­ted by the hor­ti­cul­tu­ral com­pa­nies and trans­form them into inno­va­ti­ve pro­duct solu­ti­ons.

In the com­post sec­tor, Klasmann-Deilmann and a part­ner in the Nether­lands have been con­duc­ting a joint rese­arch pro­ject sin­ce 2013, aimed at crea­ting com­post extract (“com­post tea”) with live bac­te­ria. The­se spe­ci­fi­cal­ly enri­ched bac­te­ria groups acce­le­ra­te the con­ver­si­on of ammo­nia from orga­nic fer­ti­li­sers into nitra­te in orga­nic substrates. This means that the fer­ti­li­ser is more effi­ci­ent and has a posi­ti­ve influ­ence on plant growth.

To find out whe­ther other types of wood are sui­ta­ble for fib­re pro­duc­tion in addi­ti­on to the tried-and-tested soft­woods, Klasmann-Deilmann is cur­r­ent­ly inves­ti­ga­ting new tech­ni­cal methods of wood fib­re pro­duc­tion. This requi­res a gre­at deal of fun­da­men­tal rese­arch in coope­ra­ti­on with wood tech­no­lo­gy and wood che­mi­stry rese­arch insti­tu­tes. The decisi­ve cri­te­ria for each new sub­stra­te con­sti­tu­ent are maxi­mum gro­wing relia­bi­li­ty for the hor­ti­cul­tu­ral busi­ness, as wide a ran­ge of app­li­ca­ti­ons as pos­si­ble, cost effec­tiveness and sustai­na­bi­li­ty.