Major expansion of AgroProeftuin De Peel: HAS conducts long-term research projects

News 18 March 2019
HAS University of Applied Sciences - Agroproeftuin de Peel

On Wednesday 13 February, the plots for the trials site’s expansion were marked out. Marnix Bakermans, the politician responsible for the agricultural transition on behalf of the region, hammered the first marker into the soil.

This year, AgroProeftuin de Peel will expand to 14 trials on its trials site on the Middenpeelweg in North-Eastern Brabant. The Proeftuin (agricultural trials site) is an initiative of AgriFood Capital, aimed at agricultural innovation. One of the ways in which this is achieved is by making plots available at the trials site for entrepreneurs wishing to try out their innovative ideas in practice. As of this year, this location is undergoing a major expansion from 10 to 35 hectares. The Proeftuin offers organisational and financial support to businesses and brings them into contact with each other in various ways, including conferences.

Circular agriculture at work

“The Agrifood industry is very important for our region’s economy,” says Mark Bakermans, mayor of Landerd municipality. “That’s why we wish to maintain a strong agricultural sector. We also want agricultural production to take place in a way that is in balance with its surroundings. That is to say: economically, ecologically and socially responsible. The Minister for Agriculture advocates circular agriculture. This fits perfectly with what we are doing in this region, because we already practise circular agriculture here. At this test site, entrepreneurs will prove that it is achievable.”

Multi-year research programme

AgroProeftuin de Peel (formerly Agro As de Peel) was established as a result of collaboration between government, businesses and knowledge institutions within the AgriFood Capital, North-Eastern Brabant region. In addition to the 17 municipalities in the region, the following parties are also involved: local ZLTO (Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation) branches, De Aa en Maas water board, the Brabantse Mileufederatie (Environmental Federation Brabant), Wageningen UR and HAS University of Applied Sciences. HAS is conducting a multi-year research programme in AgroProeftuin De Peel to explore possibilities for soil improvement using organic waste flows.

Projects in 3 subject areas

At the Middenpeelweg site, farmers are conducting trials related to three subject areas: biodiversity, domestically-grown proteins and biomass as a raw material. AgroProeftuin de Peel also supports and develops innovative projects elsewhere in the region. These are experiments with strip cultivation of maize in grassland, techniques for a zero-emission pigsty (ZERO stall) and the redevelopment of the former AI (artificial insemination) facility in Beers into a Protein Campus. In addition, the five municipalities in the Peel region in North-Eastern Brabant and the Aa en Maas water board are developing 30-54 hectares of nature in collaboration with Groen Ontwikkelfonds Brabant (Brabant Green Development Fund).