New educational program about plant health

New educational program about plant health

Vlaardingen – Do you want to learn all about how to grow healthy and resilient crops in an integrated and sustainable way? Plant Empowerment is launching a new educational program on Wednesday April 12, to help growers grow truly healthy plants that are resistant to diseases and pests. The insights of the course not only will help participants to understand the real meaning and importance of plant health, but it can also trigger them to make changes to their crop protection strategy that will improve plant health. The program includes a series of online courses, presented by a multidisciplinary team of specialists, and is supported by an e-book. Registration for the program is possible from today.

Healthy plants generate the highest possible yields

Over the past couple of decades, nutrition in high-tech crops has become largely dominated by synthetic fertilizers. In combination with better genetics and better growth conditions, this has enabled production levels to be continuously improved. But these production improvements have come at a price: the constant threat of pests and diseases. This initially led to the widespread usage of chemical crop protection agents in high-yielding crops. The recent trend towards more sustainable approaches is a positive development. But these solutions still only tackle the symptoms rather than the underlying cause: weakened plant health. And as Mark van der Werf – plant health specialist at Plant Empowerment – says: “Only truly healthy plants that are resistant to diseases and pests also generate the highest possible yields in terms of both quantity and quality.”

About the plant health program

The educational program breaks down the complex concept of plant health into several distinct factors. The program consists of four online training sessions, with each part emphasizing various aspects of cultivating robust and nourishing crops using an integrated and sustainable approach. By assimilating these nutritional insights into the crop strategy, along with the basic principles of Plant Empowerment, growers can advance their journey toward growing healthy crops. The online sessions are being presented by a multidisciplinary team of Plant Empowerment specialists, who will share their knowledge which they have gained during real-life projects.

Every online course is followed by one chapter of an e-book. The e-book delves into various topics such as photosynthesis, mineral uptake, and nitrogen, while also exploring how nutrition can aid the plant's inherent defense mechanism during times of stress.

The Plant Empowerment program consists of the following four sessions:

Wednesday, April 12

  • online course part 1: How to grow a healthy plant
  • e-book: Plant health and photosynthesis

Wednesday, April 26

  • online course part 2: How minerals influence plant health
  • e-book: Plant health and minerals

Wednesday, May 10:

  • online course part 3: How to create a solid foundation for healthy plants
  • e-book: Plant health and nitrogen

Wednesday, May 17:

  • online course part 4: How substrates and irrigation strategies contribute to healthy plants
  • e-book: Plant health and defenses

Register for the educational program

Here you can register for the educational program:

If you don’t want to participate in the online course but still would like to receive the e-book, you can buy it here:

You can find more detailed information about the subjects in the table below:



Date: Wednesday, April 12

How to grow a healthy plant
During the first part of the educational program,  the experts will give you an introduction to plant health. What factors are necessary for a plant to become “healthy” and how can growers influence those factors? During the table discussion some of these factors will be discussed.

Plant health and photosynthesis
The e-book starts with photosynthesis, which is an important part of the assimilate balance or ‘sugar balance’. But plant health is also a sugar sink. Therefore, the first chapter provides pointers for what growers can do to prevent a sugar shortage from potentially weakening their crops beyond repair.

Date: Wednesday, April 26

How minerals influence plant health
During the second part of the educational program, the team of specialists will focus on minerals. Minerals play a key role in the functioning of a plant. What are exactly the functions of all these minerals and how do they affect plant health. Are we supplying the optimum diet for plants already or can we still make some improvements?

Plant health and minerals
The second chapter focuses on the uptake of minerals, which are essential not only for photosynthesis but also for numerous other health-related processes within the plant. How can growers avoid deficiencies, and how do the Plant Empowerment principles support the uptake and transport of minerals to promote plant health?

Date: Wednesday, May 10

How to create a solid foundation for healthy plants
The third course is all about the foundation. A solid foundation is a “must-have” for a healthy crop. This means we need the right genetics and a good plan. During this session, we will discuss how genetics are the bases for a healthy crop. And a good strategy is crucial to avoid stressful situations.

Plant health and nitrogen
The third chapter will help growers to find the sweet spot for nitrogen for their crop. Nitrogen plays a key role in the plant’s immune system, but too much of the wrong kind of nitrogen (nitrate) can have a devastating effect. This chapters explains how to monitor nitrate levels, and how small adjustments to the fertilizer schedule can help improve crop performance and reduce the plant’s susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Date: Wednesday, May 17

How substrates and irrigation strategies contribute to healthy plants
In the final course, the team of specialists will discuss substrate properties and irrigation strategies and how they affect plant health. The health of the plant starts around the roots. Roots are working together with microbes to get enough water and minerals. In the same area, pathogens are constantly looking for a chance to attack.

Plant health and defenses
This chapter explains the role of nutrition in supporting the plant’s natural ‘fight’ response when faced with various types of stressful situation, and it teaches how growers can make their plants a less susceptible host for pests and diseases as well as to further support and strengthen them.

Photo: Plant Empowerment Team



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