One-stop-shop for all your horti-analyses

One-stop-shop for all your horti-analyses

14 January 2024

When growers knock on the door of Eurofins in Wageningen with a specific crop-related testing question, a worldwide network of professional laboratories is there to support. "The Eurofins network is a great addition to our agricultural services," says Jan Hardeman, Account Manager Horti at Eurofins Agro Testing. "It allows us to offer a one-stop shop service when it comes to analysis. With modern technology, we can handle most questions."

"Growers sometimes encounter unexplained problems during cultivation, or they want a deeper insight into their crop than usual. Eurofins Agro Testing then assigns such testing questions to a specialized laboratory within our network. We supervise the research from start to finish and send the report as soon as possible, usually accompanied with advice.”
940 professional laboratories

Jan says: "Testing nutrient solutions or greenhouse soils and examining crops for damage is everyday work for Eurofins in Wageningen. Growers in the Netherlands and many parts of the world know they can come to us for these analyses. But what many people don't know is that in addition to the laboratory in Wageningen, no fewer than 940 laboratories worldwide are part of the Eurofins network! And Eurofins recently celebrated its 35th anniversary.

"The Eurofins network encompasses a broad range of services, but all its laboratories work in the field of 'life sciences', and many have close links with universities and scientific institutes. The different areas of business include Food Testing, Environment Testing, BioPharma Services, Clinical Diagnostic Services, and Genomics. The different laboratories are well connected, making it easy to put a question to the right expert. In addition, all Eurofins laboratories are equipped with the latest technology and a lot of emphasis is placed on the exchange of knowledge between them.

"The biggest advantage we offer our customers this way is that they have one point of contact when accessing a whole network of services and research. Here at Wageningen, we arrange the shipment of samples to the appropriate laboratory or department, and the client receives the analysis report and invoice through us."

All crop-related testing

If you have a specific crop-related testing question, you can share your query with Eurofins Agro Testing in Wageningen. Desiree Vorstenbosch and Arianne van Lierop from the Horti Customer Support department will evaluate the question and put you in touch with one of the specialists in the international Eurofins network.

Van Lierop: "We first discuss the question with the customer and then with our Eurofins colleagues. Then we look at how a sample should be delivered. Important factors include the amount of material and the packaging and delivery method. For example, we do not pour anything. Samples go directly to the appropriate specialist department. And a sample containing fresh material is best sent at the beginning of the week, for example.”

Vorstenbosch: "Especially in recent years, we have received a lot of questions about ingredients in fruit and vegetables, such as vitamins, amino acids or lycopene, as well as questions about pesticide residues. We outsource these types of questions to other laboratories that have the right expertise for these types of questions. In the case of vitamins or amino acids, the sample goes to Eurofins Vitamin Testing in Denmark. For lycopene, we send it to Eurofins Analytics France in Nantes. And questions about residues, for example, we send to our Eurofins colleagues elsewhere in the Netherlands.

Special questions

The range of specific questions we have received recently is wide. The industry is currently working hard to develop renewable growing media. As a result, we are receiving all kinds of questions to test specific products that may be suitable as alternatives to peat. Getting the analysis right is very important, as the properties of these products are often very different from those of the commonly uses growing media. For example, we recently received paper pulp as a potential peat substitute.

Rope for growing tomatoes was another surprising material that we recently received. As it was a biodegradable rope, the question was whether it would be strong enough to support the crop throughout the growing season. We also received a question about the composition of pelleted seeds for the consumer market.

For all these questions, we look for an appropriate analysis from the extensive portfolio within the Eurofins network. Vorstenbosch says, "Sometimes it is quite a puzzle to find out where to put the question. But that is the beauty of the challenge. No cultivation-related question is too crazy for us." Van Lierop adds: "Call us any time if you have a question. We are happy to talk to you and see what the possibilities are.”