Data Driven Cucumber Growing

In a series of videos BASF will share the progress of their trials in data driven cucumber growing for year-round cucumber crops.

With these videos we want to inform growers, consultants, and other interested parties about the progress of BASF’s data driven cucumber cultivation trials. In each episode, we will additionally share information and knowledge about specific relevant topics. For instance, you will learn about the importance of plant registration, how genetics influence crop behavior and labor needs, and which tools are used to steer the crop in the most optimal way, based on data.

Are you getting excited by these videos, and do you want to see our data driven trials in person? You’re very welcome to visit our trial center in ‘s-Gravenzande and invite you to make an appointment with our sales specialist:

Rens Muusers
Sales Specialist Cucumber

part 6

Crop protection

Pest and disease resistance and control in data driven cucumber cultivation

How do we ensure the strength of our cucumber plants at BASF | Nunhems? In this episode of our video series, we look at the methods for combatting diseases and pests. Cucumber specialists Rens Muusers and Marijn Stolze take us to our greenhouse in 's-Gravenzande, where the right nutrition and climate control keep the crop healthy.


Nunhems’ crop protection is based on an integrated approach. For instance, we keep our plants robust by using trichoderma and other root stimulants. This creates a healthy root environment and increases root vigor. We have already grown three crops on the same substrate and still see no pythium.

A major challenge in greenhouses is controlling powdery mildew. Mildew resistance is very important for us in the development of our varieties. In the cucumber cultivation department in ’s-Gravenzande we've been using silicon in our nutrition since 2022. As a result, we've had to use much less powdery mildew control this year. This means not only healthier cucumber plants but also more sustainable farming.


Find all the answers in the sixth video of this series >

part 5


The impact of LED lighting in data-driven cucumber cultivation

In this fifth episode of our video series on data-driven cucumber cultivation, we look at the impact of lighting. From the greenhouse at ‘s-Gravenzande of BASF | Nunhems, Cucumber Sales Specialist Rens Muusers and Product Development Specialist Marijn Stolze explain how we use LED lights to create optimal growing conditions for our cucumbers.


Our LED lights play a key role in the greenhouse, with a spectrum of 75% red, 8% blue, 9% green and 9% far-red. The latter type of light is reflected by plants and cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year, we decided to dim them down to 60%, giving a maximum illumination of 200 micromoles.

The timing and intensity of our lighting are carefully calibrated based on the needs of the plants and the expected amount of natural light. This allows us to ensure a gradual transition in plant temperature between daylight and the LED lights.

This winter, we found that maintaining an optimum plant temperature was challenging due to the reduced heat input from the dimmed LED lights - a lesson for those considering an investment in greenhouse lighting.


Find all the answers in the fifth video of this series >

part 4


Creating the perfect cucumber climate using data

In this fourth episode of our series about data-driven cucumber cultivation, agronomist Marcel Huibers and farm technician Frans Goud explain how BASF’s vegetable seeds business achieves an ideal climate for cucumber growing. They base the climate on four pillars: RTR (Ratio Temperature Radiation), screen usage, high-pressure air humidification, and energy consumption. Take a look at the ingenious climate system in our greenhouse in ‘s-Gravenzande.


The optimal climate for cucumber cultivation requires the right balance between light and temperature. That way, you can ensure that the plant temperature remains stable. The RTR regulates these conditions, laying the foundation for successful cucumber cultivation in ‘s-Gravenzande.


In the video, we also explain why BASF doesn’t look at energy per square meter, but at energy input per cucumber. Because even though in this case, the energy per illuminated cucumber is slightly higher than in non-illuminated high-wire cultivation, the production is much higher


Find all the answers in the fourth video of this series >

part 3

The work involved

What work is involved in data-driven cucumber cultivation?

In this third episode of our video series on data-driven cucumber cultivation, cucumber specialists Marcel Huibers and Kees van Vliet tell us about the work involved. From the greenhouse of BASF’s vegetable seeds business in 's-Gravenzande they explain the steps in the process and tell us about how they monitor the quality.


Marcel and Kees tell us that a lot can change in one week’s time. A cucumber plant can grow up to 80cm. That’s why the planning and implementation must be closely monitored, and they work with crop registration in the greenhouse. So, they are always on top of all the changes.

Based on the crop registration they decide to clip, lower the plants, prune, harvest or take off leafs or flowers. How does that work? Our experts tell you all about it in the video.

BASF says quality and finishing the planning are two of the most important things. How exactly do they monitor the quality? Finally, Marcel and Kees tell us about some measures to cut back on the amount of work. Excited to see which measures?


Find all the answers in the third video of this series >

part 2

The importance of crop registration

Why is crop registration important?
And how does it work?

In this second episode of our video series on data-driven cucumber cultivation, cucumber specialists Marijn Stolze and Kees van Vliet invite us into the world of crop registration in the greenhouse of BASF’s vegetable seeds business in 's-Gravenzande. They tell us about the importance of crop registration and how it works.


Marijn and Kees tell us that you’re able to objectively measure a crop with crop registration. This happens every other week. This way, the crops can be grown in balance based on the data collected. But how does it work? What exactly do they measure?

What does that look like? The new leaves are counted and based on that the leaf development is registered. The leaf development leads us to key figures, which are important for crop management.

To conclude, the experts discuss the key figures for cucumbers and their meaning. When is a cucumber plant balanced?


Find all the answers in the second video of this series >

part 1

Looking back at 2022, and a preview of what’s to come in 2023

In the first episode of our video series on data driven cucumber cultivation, Marcel Huibers (agronomist) and cucumber specialist Kees van Vliet invite us into the BASF Vegetable Seeds greenhouse in 's-Gravenzande. They tell us all about key insights from 2022, learnings, and we get a preview of what’s to come in 2023.

Marcel and Kees start with good news: the first year in 's-Gravenzande was successful. It has helped set the direction for data-driven cultivation. Which cultivation technical aspects deserve to be developed further? And which genetics best suit this way of growing?

Of course, 2022 also offered learning points. On plant registration and RTR (Ratio Temperature Radiation), for example.

To conclude, the experts talk about the plans for 2023. How will the energy market affect the plans for the upcoming year? And how to verify RTR in combination with lower lighting capacity?


Find all the answers in the first video of this series >

High wire cultivation
Learn more about high-wire cultivation with our series of high-wire white papers ‘The only way is up’
Cucumber varieties
Overview of Nunhem's cucumber varieties for traditional and high wire cultivation, including variety information.
20 years high-wire cucumbers
Read and watch here the full stories and video interviews we created together to celebrate 20 years high-wire cucumbers.