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The key to homogeneity in plant nurseries

The key to homogeneity in plant nurseries

Hubert Salaün has been managing Tecnosem since 1992. A great propagation specialist, he has always used GRODAN products.

After two years' experience in tomato production, in 1992 Hubert Salaün embarked on the production of seedlings for propagation. He created the Tecnosem Company and began his business on 8,300 m2 of land. Located in Cléder (22), the company's aim is to support the development of tomato cultivation in the region, in particular in the Roscoff and Saint-Pol sectors. The start of the 1990's also saw the development of plants in mini root balls for field cultivation, in particular of cauliflowers.

Nowadays, Tecnosem works on more than 4 ha in conventional and 1 ha in organic farming for its Biosem subsidiary. The compnay offers a range of quality seedlings, available in 23 different species and a huge number of varieties. For each species, and in particular for tomatoes, Tecnosem also offers a vast diversity of technical solutions, notably by relying on the technology offered by GRODAN products.

Pro plug for rootstock

Motivated from the start by the technical challenges in plant production, Hervé Salaün consistently invests in innovation to guide his company's development. Starting in 1995 he embarked on the production of grafted seedlings.

Regular investment benefits equipment performance. Row planting and the handling of the seedlings in the greenhouses have been automated. Grafting is an operation still carried out 100% by hand, since it is a delicate task, but Tecnosem uses three optical sorting robots to sort the seedlings into batches, standardised by size. In this production scheme Hubert Salaün is very appreciative of the characteristics of the Pro Plugs. The quality of the GRODAN fibre and the placing of the plugs on the tray make it possible to obtain firmer, more regular rootstock, with a well-developed root system. All these qualities are helpful in sorting the seedlings mechanically and in grafting itself.

The homogeneity of the Plantop blocks

At all stages of production Tecnosem seeks to improve the homogeneity of the batches. Therefore, LEDs have replaced neon lighting in the grafting room and more recently, electronic lamps have been installed in the breeding greenhouses instead of sodium lamps. For Hubert Salaün homogeneity is one of the main advantages of the Plantop blocks. He has been using them from the very beginning and has been able to follow their technical evolution through the generations of products, in particular as regards the improvement in the characteristics of the fibre, which promotes rewetting capacity and as a result the seedlings are more generative.

Hubert Salaün also values the technical support offered by GRODAN, especially the availability of Hans van Herk a great plant production specialist, who, apart from paying regular visits to each customer, is always available to answer the customer's questions. "In contrast to a tomato propagator, who often has the advantage of technical support, the propagator of seedlings is more isolated," stresses Hubert Salaün. "However, it is essential to update our knowledge regularly," adds Hubert Salaün, who never misses the annual seminar organised each year by GRODAN, which will take the opportunity once again this year to take stock of the latest scientific advances relating to blind plants.