Improving soil with seaweed extract | Swinkels Family Brewers


  • Inzaaien van de bouwgerst | Swinkels Family Brewers

After an initial successful test on their own barley field, Swinkels Family Brewers is starting a pilot in which they use seaweed extract as a biological growth stimulant for their barley. At three locations, a total of six hectares of barley is treated with the bio stimulant, which should ensure that the yield of the barley harvest increases, reduces water consumption and the soil absorbs and stores more CO2. The pilot is being carried out in collaboration with the Holland Malt malt house, The Seaweed Company and two farmers who are members of the Boer Bier Water initiative.

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A succesful test

Earlier this year, a test using the seaweed extract on the barley field of the Bavaria brewery produced positive results. Reason for rolling out a larger pilot: in collaboration with two farmers in the vicinity of the Bavaria brewery, a total of six hectares of barley are sprayed with the natural seaweed extract. The results of the pilot are constantly monitored by means of soil moisture meters and soil samples. The bio stimulant should ensure that the soil becomes richer and can absorb more carbon, the barley’s resistance to plant diseases is increased and less water is needed to grow the barley.

New step in circularity ambition

Marthijn Junggeburth, sustainability manager at Swinkels Family Brewers: “With our family business, we don’t think in years, but in generations. That is why it is important for us to think long term and to invest in sustainable initiatives. The first test with The Seaweed Company on our own barley field was promising and made us happy to roll out the pilot further. That’s how we ended up with two farmers who have been growing barley for us for years. I am excited that we are embarking on this pilot together and see if we can make a difference together. The use of this bio-growth stimulant can reduce our carbon footprint and thus contribute to our circularity ambition.”

Involvement Holland Malt

If the results of the pilot are favourable, this would further support Holland Malt’s circularity objectives. Holland Malt has a central place in the chain from barley to beer, and the CO2 footprint of malt and beer is also largely determined by the cultivation of barley. Cultivation of barley with this bio stimulant is therefore a possible improvement for the entire chain.

In this Dutch article we have written about the Swinkels Family Brewers as well.

Website: Swinkels Family Brewers

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