Intrahorti, a department of Intracare, is making way in the horticultural sector. In addition to Intra Hydro pure, which growers can use for cleaning and disinfection to guarantee the purest irrigation water, the company is taking a broader approach, for instance adding nutrients to her product range. One of those new products, based on silicic acid, has hit the market under the name Intra Eco Shield.
Intra Eco Shield creates a literal shield around the outer cell walls of the plant, explains Claudia Weick, Product Manager at Intrahorti. “We call it the ‘vitamin’ for the plant. Intra Eco Shield makes the plant more resistant to stress moments and it improves the nutrient uptake of the plant.” Intra Eco Shield can be administered along with the fertilizers, or can be used by foliar application.
It’s already being used in a range of crops, from cucumbers and lilies - to eggplants and cabbages. “In all those crops, we see that Intra Eco Shield is helping the plant get easier through moments of stress.”
For instance tomato growers in the Czech Republic, are using Intra Eco Shield to make plants more resistant and to prevent Blossom end rot. Another advantage: they see less harmful insects. Cucumber growers use Intra Eco Shield to continue cultivation more easily until the end of the season, thanks to the improved nutrient uptake.
In the rose cultivation, Intra Eco Shield also has its benefits. Growers in Russia use it to boost the colour intensity and shelf life of their roses after harvest. “And they also see the positive side effect of fewer harmful insects.”
Cultivation of the future
Intracare has traditionally supplied nutrients for livestock farming. The idea is to use as little antibiotics as possible – the ‘farming of the future’. They intend to apply the same principle in horticulture, calling it the ‘cultivation of the future’: less pesticides, by using more supplements.
In addition to the mentioned product based on silicic acid, a second new product is on the way. “We are aiming for ‘cultivation of the future’ and innovate in this way,” says Claudia. “For a second nutritional based product we are in the finishing phase, the first results look very positive.”
Another main aspect in Intracare’s mission to reduce chemical crop protection, is hygiene (think about Intra Hydro pure). It is the combination: nutrients on one side, a clean start and working hygienically on the other side. Those two pillars ensure less or even no use of crop protection products.
Being an innovative company, Claudia emphasizes, Intracare does a lot of research and product development – in fact, the R&D department is even bigger than the sales department. The company is always willing to help out with questions from the field. “We are the innovators who advise and support the greenhouse sector.”