Since our foundation over 100 years ago, we burn for horseradish. With passion for the plant, continuous research and the optimization of agricultural processes, we have revolutionized cultivation and use: new breeds, perfected cultivation methods, modified harvesting machines and new innovative concepts in processing are not only fundament to our company but offer our farmers long-term perspectives.
We are currently supporting a cooperation between farmers and the Weihenstephan Research Center to promote sustainability and natural cultivation. Our own machine development includes setting machines for precise planting, hoeing machines and special machines for soil loosening. These innovations make a significant contribution – both to saving resources and to reducing manual labor in the field. As a result, horseradish can be grown and harvested more sustainably and economically.
Climate change also calls for new approaches to planting methods. For example, we now base our sowing and harvesting times on actual weather conditions rather than on outdated standards. This on time production requires powerful agricultural machinery that allows fast and flexible action. When the horseradish cuttling (an approximately pencil-thick lateral root of the horseradish plant) is set, it is very important that it “closes up” quickly – in other words, its leaves grow quickly and the leafage protects the soil from moisture loss and weeds. Around 1,500 hours of work in twelve intensive steps are now required to farm a full-grown horseradish plant from young roots. In comparison only about one-tenth of the effort is required for potato cultivation.
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As soon as the horseradish stops growing, it is harvested. First the leaves are beaten off, then the choice of the appropriate harvesting machine is made depending on soil conditions, breed, cultivation area and current weather conditions. Since horseradish is a living product, we have developed special transport pallets, which we hand over to our farmers.
This allows the roots to be transported “first class”, without any stress or pressure. We also do not use any plastic packaging to prevent suffocation and for environmental reasons. Stress reduces the quality of horseradish by setting free bitter substances that may cause an unwanted taste.
After harvesting, the quality of the horseradish is checked, the roots are cut off (these are then set directly for the next year) cleaned, placed on our pallets, transported as quickly as possible, peeled and processed or stored.
In our own cold storage facilities, we use an optimized method to control and regulate the humidity of the horseradish. In addition, a customised foil cover is pulled over the pallets to prevent dehydration. It has a valve on top to allow heat to escape to prevent moisture turning into ice. This allows the horseradish to be put “to sleep” for up to two years.