The creation of PCS in October 1988 marked a new era in the history of cultivation of ornamental plants in Belgium. PCS was an amalgamation of the Experimental Gardens for Floriculture, Nursery Stock and Cut Flowers and the Research Station for Horticulture BVO, all of which were non-profit associations. Since 1 January 2005, the activities of the different unities are brought together in one entity: PCS n.p.a. Ornamental Plant Research is situated in Destelbergen, right in the heart of the growing region for ornamental plants, which strengthens its function as a research and information centre for ornamental horticulture.
The professional sector and consultancy services are closely involved in the functioning of the centre, resulting in an optimal interaction between research, information and practice.
Each year the programmes of the practical research are worked out in technical committees consisting mainly of growers, but also attended by researchers and consultants. The current problems are introduced via various culture workgroups. For the new programmes of the scientific research, the proposals and activities of the culture workgroups are also taken into account, but mainly researchers decide on the exact structure of the research.
PCS Ornamental Plant Research has the expertise and facilities to carry out applied scientific research and more practice-oriented research. At both levels the research is done thematically.
Important research themes are the optimization of culture methods, growth and flowering regulation, use of energy, quality and post harvest properties of ornamental plants and research for practical utility. In the present research, environmental protection has become a very important theme. This includes trials in closed culture systems, in which water and fertilizers are recycled, so that nothing can leach into the subsoil. The minimization of use of chemical products is also a central issue in the theme of plant protection. Integrated control is an important aspect of this research. In this context, PCS developed an observation and warning system for pests and diseases in nursery stock and has also a program for guided control in glasshouse cultures.
Within PCS, there is also an important engagement to information and education activities. The transfer of knowledge is realized by the publication of results in professional journals and the organisation of study meetings, lectures, visits, etc.
The operating costs of the centre are financed by government and industry. The most important funds are given by the Flemish Community, Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the European Union, the Province of East Flanders, Boerenbond (the Belgian Farmers Union), AVBS (the Belgian Ornamental Growers Federation), KBC Banking & Insurance and the voluntary contributions of growers.
T: +32 (0)9 353 94 94
F: +32 (0)9 353 94 95