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“USE WATER EFFICIENTLY, IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RAW MATERIAL ON EARTH''

Strawberry producer Ulrich Osterloh

His passion is clear: he wants to be the best strawberry producer in Germany, or better still, in all of Europe. Ulrich Osterloh is not merely an expert in his field; he genuinely lives and breathes strawberries. His business, Erdbeerhof Osterloh, grows strawberries on more than 250 ha of land. The large number of new polytunnels is striking, a sign of the transition to covered crops. They reduce the risks that reoccur each year with outdoor cultivation. “Last winter, for example, we were very lucky with the frost, and hail is also a constant threat.” Covered cultivation provides protection and offers the possibility of heating the greenhouses. “And, very important, we can regulate the dosage of water and fertilizers much better”.

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Erdbeerhof Osterloh

With crops covering more than 250 ha, Erdbeerhof Osterloh is amongst the largest strawberry growers in Europe. Quality and reliability are the main principles that drive Ulrich Osterloh’s business, and those are the reasons he is making the switch from outdoor crops to high-quality production in tunnels. Even though he has been in the strawberry business for almost 35 years, Osterloh has described this switch as an exciting and challenging project for his business, which is situated in Visbek, Germany (between Osnabrück and Bremen). “This switch will take us one step further into the future, and provides a foundation for my children, Alicia and Alexander, to build on.”

Osterloh opts for Priva

Erdbeerhof Osterloh is in the middle of a transition process from outdoor crops to covered crops in greenhouses, but mainly in modern tunnels. To help realize this process, Ulrich Osterloh, the innovative, driven entrepreneur behind the business, has enlisted Jan Robben, the well-known Dutch strawberry grower, as well as Priva. To automate water dosage and fertilization, Priva has supplied Osterloh with a Connext process computer. Account Manager Chris Reeskamp provides the necessary guidance to the strawberry grower on behalf of Priva, and Priva Partner Andreas Geiger takes care of the installations.

 The Grower Files

In late 2015, Priva launched a video section under the intriguing title ‘The Grower Files’, in which notable national and international growers outline their vision of topical issues in the (greenhouse) horticulture industry. In these video messages ‘by growers for growers’, the entrepreneurs will also give an interesting insight into their business philosophy. Following in the footsteps of tomato grower Frank van Kleefgerbera grower Marius Mans and potted plant specialist Frans Bunnik, the next installment features German strawberry giant Ulrich Osterloh.