Soils samples have proven a plot of land is free of stem nematodes and Sclerotium cepivorum (White rot) before it is selected for the cultivation of Quality inside first year onion sets. After that, healthy quality seed from Bejo/De Groot en Slot is sown by selected agricultural contractors who have many years of experience in sowing onion seeds for first year sets. A crop advisor, appointed by Broer B.V., determines together with the grower when the plot is ready for sowing. Aspects like irrigation prior to sowing are considered.
Once the seeds are sown, the crop advisor checks the development of the crop on a regular basis and stays in contact with the growers. Together, they have agreed on a specific crop protection schedule. The crop is also inspected for plant health by researchers from Bejo and Naktuinbouw *. If no health problems are found during these inspections, no further action is necessary.
However, if a health problem is detected during these inspections, various actions can be taken in order to get the consignment free of any diseases and/or pathogens. After harvesting, tests are done in our laboratory to confirm if the consignment is healthy. In some cases, an extra treatment can be applied post-harvest. In all cases, Naktuinbouw has the final decision whether or not a consignment is healthy and ready for delivery.
The crop advisor determines when the crop is ready for harvest. The actual harvesting is executed by specialized contractors.
Once a consignment is harvested, dried and stored for several weeks, a sample of all lots is delivered to the researchers of Bejo. This sample is tested for the presence of several pathogens. Furthermore, a grow out test is executed in order to confirm if the consignment is in line with our quality demands. If these tests indicate that a consignment is not meeting our demands, additional actions are considered. When these actions do not result in a high quality onion lot, the consignment is destroyed.
Only if the quality of the lot is meeting the Quality inside demands, it will be approved for delivery. Even after delivery, we plant a sample of the lot on our own fields to make sure it is developing according to Quality inside standards.
Quality inside applies this extensive protocol to guarantee the highest quality first year sets; the basis of a successful second year onion crop.
*Naktuinbouw: Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture