Cactus cultivation requires low-energy, little water and uses very little fertilizer and crop protection products. The first step is always to assess whether possible problems can be solved by prevention, screening and the use of biological agents.
They use rainwater which is collected in 7 water silos. If really necessary, surface water could be used.
Cacti need very little water and are placed in growing trays that are closed at the bottom. The plants are watered manually as more than 200 varieties of plants are grown and all these plants have their own water requirements. An additional advantage of manual watering is that no water is lost and therefore nothing ends up in the surface water.
The water consumption of Novicactus has no influence at all on the drinking water supplies in the region.
Novicactus tries to combat disease and pests within the nursery by applying biological agents to minimise the use of plant protection products.
Adhesive tapes are used to quickly detect and catch insects, so that the control can be adjusted accordingly. Besides, they use insect trap lamps and animal-friendly mousetraps.
To keep the varieties pure and of high quality and to avoid harvesting seeds unnecessarily harvested nature, Novicactus has its own mother plants from which seeds and cuttings are extracted. Only 15% of the cactus seed is purchased from suppliers. These suppliers have to be certified.
Potting soil and fertilizers
Cacti need little nutrition, so they need little extra fertilizers. The supplier of the potting soil has already added fertilizer to the soil. Because cacti need little water, no fertilizer is flushed out of the soil.
Finished potting soil is composted. All waste materials are first separated and then disposed of. Plastic, paper, cardboard and industrial waste are collected separately and transported as much as possible in a single drive to minimize the impact on the environment. Old trays are collected and returned by full truck to a recycling company that reuses them.
They use a heat storage tank to heat the greenhouses. This ensures a constant, low gas consumption even during cold days. This gas is needed to heat the water in the heat storage tank to avoid energy-guzzling peaks in the consumption.
Currently they conduct researches into alternative ways of heating the greenhouse, such as the use of residual heat or hydrogen.
In order to reduce energy and gas consumption, they use energy screens and consider modifications to the cultivation method. For example, by sowing later in the year, they need less gas to heat the greenhouse.
Novicactus uses a transport company that attaches great importance to sustainability. It uses Duel Fuel for the trucks, which contains a combination of Diesel and LNG. LNG stands for Liquid Natural Gas (liquid gas) which can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the transport company is investigating the possibilities of a biogas plant in which gas is produced by fermentation of agricultural waste. Other measures taken by the transport company to reduce CO2 emissions include the introduction of electronic limiters on all their trucks and ‘Smart Driving’ training for all drivers.