In Dronten lies Koen's farm, where traditional and organic agriculture come together. Koen shares his personal experiences and insights about the future of agriculture, where traditional and organic practices complement each other, and how organic and traditional farming are getting closer together.
"The mix between traditional and organic is actually quite pleasant," he explains. He emphasizes that his approach stemmed from both practical considerations and a conscious choice. Inheriting the farm from his parents, Koen had the opportunity to continue the business. While the trend towards organic farming was growing, Koen felt that it would be too quick to completely abandon traditional methods. He decided to find a balance between both approaches.
This way of working allows him to gain experience in using biological crop protection. As a result, he acquires a lot of knowledge and is prepared to fully transition to biological crop protection when the government decides that certain traditional methods can no longer be applied.
"10 years ago, organic farming was miles ahead in terms of sustainability and environmental friendliness, but that gap is getting smaller. In 15 years, I expect there will be no difference at all, especially due to the rapid increase in effective organic methods."
Limitation in use of chemical pesticides
The increasing interest, especially from governmental bodies, in organic farming marks the path to the future. "You grow into it a bit," notes Koen. With the growing availability of knowledge and the number of biological crop protection products, he also sees opportunities for traditional methods to evolve.
Moreover, consumers are becoming increasingly critical. Society expects more and more that agriculture is environmentally friendly and responsible. And that the vegetables consumers eat are safe.
Future of biological crop protection
Koen advocates for a cautious approach, carefully examining effectiveness when it comes to applying crop protection. He emphasizes that the correct application of methods is essential for achieving optimal results. Koen's perspective highlights that effective crop protection remains necessary to prevent crop failures and ensure food supply.
While traditional and organic farming methods are getting closer due to a reduced chemical toolkit, Koen foresees that organic alternatives will thrive, reducing the need for traditional chemical methods.
"In collaboration with Koppert, I see opportunities to adapt my farm to a future where chemical methods will gradually disappear. I believe that the agricultural sector has a natural interest in such solutions, but ignorance and a lack of alternative options still hinder acceptance."