Fertilisation is carried out after N analyses by Inagro in Beitem: 80% of the diet is provided by livestock manure and green manure. 20% occurs chemically, which is also used to kill weeds. The hop vines are chopped during picking and reused as natural fertiliser in the fields.
No herbicides are used, but weeds are controlled mechanically (via harrows or earthing up) or with our Zwartbles sheep who weed in June-July and from October-November.
The disease control is carried out according to the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method: this is a control method in which all possible control techniques are applied in an integrated manner so that damage to plants is kept below the economic damage threshold. We use both biological and chemical pesticides, with a very specific effect, so only to combat the disease or plague forming a problem, which prevents the natural enemies (such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps,...) from being eradicated.
We have lots of wind in our region, but we plant trees as a natural protection measure. We opt for poplars, fast-growing trees, which of course need to be pruned frequently. The thin twigs are shredded as compost, the timbers are reused in our wood gasifying boiler to produce domestic hot water and to heat the house via central heating.
Drying and picking on solar energy
We dry the hops indirectly and computer-controlled during picking, i.e. the flue gases are not blown through the hops in a period of 3-6 hours (depending on the type of hops) so that the hops retain their aroma. Picking and drying are done with solar electricity generated by solar panels
Elimination of red spider mite
Zwartbles sheep efficiently control red spider mite and weeds from June-July