Innovation projects

The inovation projects of Agreon are small-scale, practically orientated projects concerning the development of an agrocleantech concept. These are all products or technologies that for agriculture and horticulture make it possible to go along with the production resources such as soil, water, nutrients, air, landscape, environment, etc., in a sustainable way. The objective is to bring the agrocleantech concept, which is still in the concept stage, in an accelerated way to the pilot phase. The development here takes place through a SME that is scientifically supported by a scientific research or educational institution and is advised by an agriculturer or horticulturer. The achievement of the prototype will ultimately take place at the farm of this agriculturer or horticulturer. 

The projects that were started since 2013 are described below. 

Site-specific lime sprinkling with the aid of RTK-GPS

In order to adjust the acidity of the soil for subsequent crops, it is often necessary to apply lime to the agricultural parcels. This is often done on the basis of the analysis of soil samples obtained after sampling. The soil samples are taken manually at around 20 cross-connected locations on the parcel. The entire parcel is then equally limed using traditional lime sprinkling techniques without taking into account site-specific requirements on the parcel.

Realisation of SME Parrein NV (Langemark-Poelkapelle)

At agricultural contractor Hans Lamerant (Merkem)

Together with Inagro and Agrometius

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Adaptation of a leek processing machine for waste water applications

In Flanders, there is much waste water from chemical air scrubbers (= ammonium sulphate) that are installed, as part of low-emission techniques, on pigsties and manure treatment/processing plants. This number can be expected to rise sharply in the context of the Flemish PAS initiatives (Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen Deposition). In Belgium, this waste water is recognized as an artificial fertilizer and can be used as nitrogen- and sulphur-rich fertilizer in agricultural crops.

Realisation of SME Verhoest Marc BVBA (Rumbeke)

At agricultural contractor Sander Verhelle (Pittem)

Together with Inagro and VCM

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Design and experimental testing of innovative 2R cubicle

In dairy holdings a lot of investments are done in new and better housing with regard to a higher milk production. New stables are build or existing stables extended with much attention on animal welfare and comfort by using pleasant bedding material, wide passageways, cowfirendly materials, ... Dairy farmer Renaat Rommelaere with plans for expansion was already a few years thinking about a cubicle for cows in which they are able to positionate themselves better en therefor make it easier for them to raise and lay down.


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Low-Cost plants monitor on the basis of the stem thickness variation and ambient parameters

The plants monitor has the objective to chart the 'well-being' of the plant and to warn when this is no longer the case. From previous research (IWT-project fytomonitoring) it is evident that the variation and daily increase of the stem thickness is a good measure for the water management and growth of a plant. Using this information it is possible to optimise the water supply and to make the corrections for adverse growing conditions. Such tool limits the cultivation risk, and may give rise to a higher yield, and to lower water consumption, with production of less wastewater.

Realisation of SME Signum engineering (Waregem)

On tomato company of Henk Van de Velde (Zedelgem)

together with Inagro

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Feasibility of an online crop monitor for lettuce on the basis of image processing

In the glasshouse horticulture the heating costs make a substantial part of the production costs, especially in crops such as lettuce. The decrease of the combustion temperature can have a positive impact on the energy bill, however the growth rate of lettuce may be delayed by this operation (which leads to longer production cycles and back to an increased energy consumption). To this end, the breeder gets no direct feedback of the growth rate of its product (lettuce). This project wants to develop an affordable management tool that allows the grower to get direct feedback of his actions and in this way make it possible to continiously follow up his crop. 


Realisation of SME Plantguard (Wingene) 

on horticultural farm of Stefaan Pyppe (Westrozebeke) & Rik Lancriet (Wingene)

Together with Inagro

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Possibilities of targeted sprayings and weed killing by the use of sensors and precision farming

In this Innovation Project the possibilities of "Green Seeker sensors" mounted on an irrigation device are examined. The combination of the sensors with the spray device will be implemented in practice. In this way the more targeted supply of liquid nitrogen in the wheat cultivation, as well as more specific dosage of weed killer resources in the potato cultivation in function of the crop condition will be tested.

Realisation of SME Delvano NV (Hulste)

on arable farm of Charles Deprez (Wijtschate)

together with CNH en Inagro

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Cadaver cooling on solar energy

At a livestock farm in Flanders dead animals are picked up by Rendac, a company dedicated to the processing of animal carcasses. Logistically the collection of these carcasses is a real organisation where the residence time of these dead animals on the farms of origin needs to be kept as short as possible. However, this can in the summer, where there is also a higher risk for some species, have an unpleasant effect as regards to smell nuisance to the environment. The livestock farmer to prevent an infection and as soon as Rendac has been informed, has to keep the carcasses on a paved, covered (sheltered) pick up area away from the proper road of the facility and from the vicinity of the public road to prevent the spread of disease by this pickup transport between the various livestock farms. For some livestock farms this means that the livestock carcasses will end up laying close to neighbours as well as a reasonable distance away from the farm itself.

Realisation of SME Belgian Energy Systems BVBA (Rumbeke)

on pig holding Koen & Ann Proot (Gijverinkhove)

together with Schippers BVBA, Dumoulin Koeltechniek, Rendac and Inagro

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Automatic control choice of water source with registered consumption

In West Flanders, and more in particular the Westhoek, farmers and gardeners are more and more faced with water shortages. However, in the agriculture there is a lot of need for water for the growing of crops and as drinking water for the animals. This project makes it possible to go and monitor different water resources and intermingle them. 

Realisation of SME Dever-Hiele BVBA (Vleteren)

on pig farm of Pascal Debeuf-Martine Verdonck (Elverdinge)

together with VTI Poperinge (dep. elektromechanics)

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Protein and starch recovery for use as animal feed in a pig holding

Can crop debris or non-marketed products from preservation still be valued by thermal digestion so that the use as swine feeds will become possible?

Realisation of SME Vermeulen Construct NV (Ieper)

on pig holding of Lavens NV (Westrozebeke)

together with ILVO en Provimi (Cargill)

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ValBran - Valorization of wheat bran in surfactants

In early 2017, the Interreg project Valbran started (Valorisation of Wheat Bran - Valorisation of wheat bran). In this 4-year project, together with Northern French, Walloon and Flemish partners, it will be investigated how the valorisation of wheat bran in surfactants (which find their application in detergents, cosmetics and phytosanitary products) can be achieved through green chemistry. Wheat bran is the vegetable, protective casing of wheat grains. This by-product is produced in abundant quantity when wheat is ground into flour. Wheat bran is mainly used in animal feed and food.

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