Crop contents

Sustainable and economically attractive – that is the agriculture of the future. It is therefore useful to look at crop contents.

That is Farming the Future!

Many crops grown for economic value often also produce residual streams. There are also crops that are grown for purposes other than their primary economic yield. Take improving soil health, for example. By identifying the other contents of these crops, the economic value can be improved, and any residual streams can be valorised. 


HLB is closely involved in projects aimed at researching the contents of plants. 

In Drenthe and Groningen, African Marigolds are grown for biological soil decontamination, in many cases as a catch crop for lily cultivation. This is technically a success, but it is not yet economically profitable enough for large-scale application and anchoring of this cultivation in the crop rotation plan. 


This has prompted a search for opportunities to extract and purify pyrethrin from Tagetes for subsequent application in the Non-Food sector. Pyrethrin is known to be present in Tagetes and is already used in animal health pharmaceuticals. This project focuses on Animal Health for application against endo- and ectoparasites. Pyrethrin is an authorised substance in registered veterinary medicines. 


First, the chemical-technical feasibility is investigated by Syncom. After that, 

HLB carries out a literature study to find the relationship between cultivation conditions, fertilisation, and Tagetes varieties on the amount of pyrethrin in the Tagetes foliage. New Businesses Agrifood and Kissels Consulting will carry out the further test of technical and economic feasibility.  This includes qualitative market research, the business case’s global calculation, and the search for suitable chain parties for follow-up. 


Project leader HLB: Weijnand Saathof

Project partners: Syncom, New Businesses, Kissels Consulting


PlantValue is a platform that supports the reorientation of the Northern Netherlands towards a bio-based economy and sustainable agriculture. The PlantValue platform shapes collaborations between primary production, suppliers and the processing industry to offer economic perspectives to (agricultural) entrepreneurs in a sustainable way. PlantValue proposes the total recovery of the plant, with respect for the soil and living environment. Central. This is done by researching the valorisation of sustainably produced plant contents and plant-related substances from main and residual streams. 


The partners in the PlantValue project (HLB, Ecostyle and Macrophylla (Cees Ruhe)) have formed a consortium together with the Louis Bolk Institute and Bioclear Earth. In June 2018, the cooperation agreement was signed during the official kick-off of the PlantValue project, organised by the consortium members in cooperation with the Province of Drenthe.

On 4 March 2020, the PlantValue project was concluded with a mini-symposium at the HLB in Wijster. At this meeting, the elaborated project ideas were presented by various consortium members.

Project leader HLB: Anja Kombrink, Janny Peltjes

Project partners: HLB BV, Bioclear Earth, Ecostyle, Louis Bolk Institute, Cees Ruhe. 

Duration: 2017 – April 2020