The Polish Vegetable Initiative
Increasing availability, quality and storability of vegetables
What was the market situation?
The Polfarm Group has been growing and distributing
vegetables since 1989. Polfarm grows crops on around
2,000 ha of land near Gdańsk and Puck in northern
Poland. Around 500 – 600 ha of the total acreage is devoted
to growing vegetables. The main crop is carrots, which
are grown on over 250 ha, but in recent years other vegetables
such as parsley, celeriac, beets, onions and leeks
have also become important. The Polfarm Group cooperates
with leading retail chains in the Polish market and
The market is now demanding more in terms of vegetable
availability and quality. Year-round availability – not just
during the growing season but also in winter and spring –
is more and more of a must. For that reason, the Polfarm
Group is investing in improving its storage, washing and
packing facilities, e. g. in a hydro-cooling system as cooling
improves the durability of vegetables. The Polfarm
Group was also the first to use ozonized water to wash
vegetables, as it enhances their microbiological cleanliness
and keeps them fresh longer.
left: Radosław Suchorzewski, Bayer; right: Paweł Gulczyński, Polfarm
What was the solution?
The increasing market requirements necessitated a more differentiated crop rotation schedule involving cereals, potatoes, horse beans and bulb vegetables. This has enabled a crop rotation cycle of at least five years. However, a key component of this strategy is a sustainable protection program against diseases and pests, which includes state-of-the-art conventional products, e. g. Luna® Experience, as well as biological products, e. g. Contans® WG and Serenade® ASO.
An important element in this sustainable growth and protection
strategy is the use of monitoring and decision-support
systems to precisely set the timing and number of crop
protection treatments. The decision-support system
includes a weather station and specialized software for
determining the optimum dates for fungicide treatments.
Last but not least, both sticky and pheromone traps are
being used to control pests.