Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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A Janus-faced food industry? : ethical reflections on corporate responsibility for health
Tempels, Tjidde - \ 2019
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M.F. Verweij, co-promotor(en): V. Blok. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463951456 - 168
Responsible Innovation for Life: Five Challenges Agriculture Offers for Responsible Innovation in Agriculture and Food, and the Necessity of an Ethics of Innovation
Gremmen, Bart ; Blok, Vincent ; Bovenkerk, Bernice - \ 2019
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics (2019). - ISSN 1187-7863
Citizen inclusion - Drones - Ecological management - Gene editing - Responsible innovation

In this special issue we will investigate, from the perspective of agricultural ethics (e.g. animal welfare, agricultural and food ethics, environmental ethics etc.) the potential to develop a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach to agriculture, and the limitations to such an enterprise. RRI is an emerging field in the European research and innovation (R&I) policy context that aims to balance economic, socio-cultural and environmental aspects in innovation processes. Because technological innovations can contribute significantly to the solution of societal challenges like climate change or food security, but can also have negative societal consequences, it is assumed that social and ethical aspects should be considered during the R&I process. For this reason, the emerging concept of RRI calls for ethical reflection on the nature, scope and applicability of responsibility and innovation in innovation practices in general, and the way social–ethical issues can be applied and addressed in agriculture.

Biochar as a carrier : Trichoderma harzianum on Biochar to promote disease suppression in strawberry
Blok, Chris ; Diaz, Andrea ; Oud, Nina ; Streminska, Marta ; Huisman, Ming ; Khanh, Pham ; Fryda, Lydia ; Visser, Rianne - \ 2019
Bleiswijk : Wageningen University & Research, BU Greenhouse Horticulture (Report / Wageningen University & Research, BU Greenhouse Horticulture WPR-893) - 44
For the ministry of economic affairs, ECN (Energy Centre Netherlands, part of TNO) develops energy production from renewable organic sources. Pyrolysis and gasification are technologies by which green bio gas and platform chemicals can be produced. Another option is to co-produce bio-energy and biochar. Biochar is the high-carbon low-solid product of the process. The economic feasibility of the latter processes dependents on the valorisation of biochar. A promising application is as (partial) peat replacement option in potting soil mixtures for greenhouse horticultural production. Wageningen University & Research Greenhouse Horticulture used biochar in dedicated research to accomplish two distinct goals. The first goal was to use biochar as an environmentally more friendly peat alternative in potting soil mixes for the production of strawberries. The second goal was to use biochar as carrier for beneficial micro–organisms for the production of strawberries. In a cultivation experiment the growth effects in a range of biochar–peat mixtures was studied. Trichoderma was added to protect the plant against a wilful addition of the disease Phytophthora. The results show 10, 20 and 30% v/v of biochar in a peat soil does not affect fresh or dry weight production of leaf and stem mass. The biochar addition does increase the fruit fresh weight production with about 5-10%. The addition of Trichoderma with biochar did not lead to an improved survival of the Trichoderma in the potting soil mixes. The added Phytophthora did not lead to a higher disease incidence, but the Phytophthora presence is lower in treatments with a higher dose of biochar.
Blackleg Detection in Potato Plants using Convolutional Neural Networks
Afonso, M.V. ; Blok, P.M. ; Polder, G. ; Wolf, J.M. van der; Kamp, J.A.L.M. - \ 2019
- 6 p.
Potato blackleg is a tuber-borne bacterial disease caused by species within the genera Dickeya and Pectobacterium that can cause decay of plant tissue and wilting through the action of cell wall degrading enzymes released by the pathogen. In case of serious infections, tubers may rot before emergence. Management is largely based on the use of pathogen-free seed potato tubers. For this, fields are visually monitored both for certification and also to take out diseased plants to avoid spread to neighboring plants. Imaging potentially offers a quick and non-destructive way to inspect the health of potato plants in a field. Early detection of blackleg diseased plants with modern vision techniques can significantly reduce costs. In this paper, we studied the use of deep learning for detecting blackleg diseased potato plants. Two deep convolutional neural networks were trained on RGB images with healthy and diseased plants. One of these networks (ResNet18) was experimentally found to produce a precision of 95 % and recall of 91 % for the disease class. These results show that convolutional neural networks can be used to detect blackleg diseased potato plants.
Can imitating nature save the planet?
Dicks, Henry ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Environmental Values 28 (2019)5. - ISSN 0963-2719 - p. 519 - 526.
Op naar precisielandbouw 2.0 : eindrapport PPS PL2.0 2015-2019 topsectorproject AF-14275
Kempenaar, Corné ; Dijk, Chris van; Hermans, Geert ; Steele-Dun, Susan ; Sande, Corné van de; Verschoore, Jeroen ; Wal, Tamme van der; Roerink, Gerbert ; Visser, Juriaan ; Kamp, Jan ; Blok, Pieter ; Polder, Gerrit ; Wolf, Jan van de; Jalink, Henk ; Bulle, Annette ; Meurs, Bert ; Michielsen, Jean-Marie ; Zande, Jan van de; Hoving, Idse ; Riel, Johan van; Holshof, Gertjan ; Boheemen, Koen van; Evert, Frits van; Riemens, Marleen ; Keizer, Paul ; Schnabel, Sabine ; Egmond, Fenny van; Walvoort, Dennis ; Janssen, Henk ; Riviėre, Inge La; Kocks, Corné ; Pot, Alfred - \ 2019
Lelystad : Stichting Wageningen Research, Wageningen University & Research (Rapport WPR 921) - 138
De publiek private samenwerking (PPS) ‘Op naar precisielandbouw 2.0’ (PL2.0) is een R&D project van de topsector AgriFood. Het project is gestart in 2015 met doorlooptijd van 4 jaar. Voor u ligt het eindrapport. In deze PPS werkten ruim 20 private bedrijven en organisaties, publieke kennisinstellingen en overheden samen aan strategische onderwerpen binnen precisielandbouw. Het project omvatte 13 deelprojecten verdeeld over vijf specifieke R&D thema’s, te weten slim satellietbeeldengebruik, sensorontwikkeling (ziektedetectie), slimme integratie van technologieën in toepassingen, perceelkarakteristieken voor schatten van opbrengstpotentie en ondersteunende ICT, en een generiek thema communicatie en kennisverspreiding.Met betrekking tot het thema satellietbeeldengebruik is uitgezocht hoe optische satellietbeelden in combinatie met radarbeelden of beelden verkregen via drone-camera’s beter gebruikt kunnen worden om de variatie en status van de bovengrondse hoeveelheid biomassa van gewassen in kaart te brengen en opbrengsten te voorspellen. Op het gebied van ziektedetectie is door middel van sensor fusion en artificial intelligence de detectie van virus- en bacterieziekten in aardappelplanten verbeterd. En werd een prototype sensorsysteem voor veldonderzoek ontwikkeld. Door slimme integratie van data, adviesmodellen en mechanisatie zijn er enkele variabel-doseertoepassingen ontwikkeld en gevalideerd. Het gaat hier om variabel doseren van Stikstof en herbiciden binnen teelten d.m.v. taakkaarten. In het verlengde hiervan is ook een ontwerp geleverd en als prototype gevalideerd voor een innovatieve beddenspuit in bloembollenteelt. Op grond van perceelkarakteristieken en ondersteunende ICT zijn inzichten en tools voor het inschatten van opbrengst(potentie) geleverd en wordt een doorkijk gegeven naar software voor verbeterde rijpadenplanning en perceelinformatie. De inzet op communicatie en kennisdeling heeft ca. 100 publicaties en presentaties in 4 jaar tijd opgeleverd. Voor meer details over resultaten wordt naar de rapportage met samenvatting per deelproject verwezen in de hoofdstukken 2 tot en met 7.Het grote succes van PL2.0 ligt vooral bij ruime aandacht voor integratie van componenten van precisielandbouwtoepassingen en de doorstroming daarvan naar de praktijk en onderwijs.Geconcludeerd mag worden dat PL2.0 een bijdrage leverde aan gewasmonitoringtoepassingen en diverse variabel-doseertoepassingen (variable rate applications, VRA). Die VRA-toepassingen zien we nu op de agenda in het in 2018 gestarte precisielandbouw-adoptie project ‘Nationale Proeftuin Precisielandbouw’ (NPPL). Meerdere bedrijven passen taakkaarten variabel doseren op een resolutie van 30-50 m2 op praktijkschaal toe en besparen zo’n 20 -30% op gewasbeschermingsmiddelen met behoud van goede werking. De basis hiervoor is een bodem- of gewaskaart die de relevante variatie binnen de bodem of gewas in kaart brengt. Ook zijn er via PL2.0 mooie resultaten met optimalisatie van plantdichtheid en vermindering van meststoffengebruik via deze kaarten. Doorstroming van kennis naar het groene onderwijs werd gerealiseerd via PL2.0 en een versterkend WURKS-traject. Negen lesmodules over gebruik software en inzet taakkaarten in precisielandbouw werden opgeleverd. Precisielandbouw is geen doel op zich, maar een manier om de duurzaamheid van landbouw te vergroten. Met PL2.0 toepassingen kan meer met minder en beter geproduceerd worden. De trend van precisielandbouw c.q. data-gedreven landbouw of smart farming, zal zich alleen maar doorzetten. Er zal gewerkt gaan worden met meer en hoog-resolutie data, complexere adviesmodellen en meer robotisering. Daarmee zullen de doelen van kringlooplandbouw beter en sneller gerealiseerd kunnen worden.
Biochar kan veen tot 50% vervangen in substraatmengels voor aardbei. Veen krijgt in sommige landen flinke maatschappelijke kritiek
Blok, C. ; Oud, Nina - \ 2019
Towards zero-liquid discharge in hydroponic cultivation
Ruijven, J. van; Os, E. van; Beerling, E. ; Blok, C. ; Janse, J. - \ 2019
Acta Horticulturae 1242 (2019). - ISSN 0567-7572 - p. 863 - 871.
Emission - Greenhouse horticulture - Pesticides - Plant protection products - Soilless culture - Sweet pepper

Competition for freshwater resources, and legal restrictions on discharge of agrochemicals (plant protection products and fertilisers) increase pressure on agricultural practice to improve water-use-efficiency of crop production globally. Zero-discharge greenhouse crop production can be an effective solution to both problems. Preliminary results of experiments with cucumber and sweet pepper on stone wool substrate in two greenhouse compartments showed that productivity did not differ in zero-discharge growing compared to standard growing strategies. In this paper we present the final evaluation of the sweet pepper trial (December 2014-November 2015). In the reference compartment a total amount of 465 m3 ha-1 year-1 (169.3 kg N) was discharged. In the zero-discharge compartment there was no discharge during cropping. The nutrient composition of irrigation and drain water was analysed weekly (compared to two-weekly in reference) and nutrient stock composition was changed accordingly. Drain water was filtered with a flatbed filter (no rinsing water) and upon changes in fertigation, the new fertigation solution was first distributed throughout the entire irrigation system by a circulation pump, before application. An irrigation strategy was developed for the end of the cropping season, aiming to drain substrate slabs and to empty drain tanks as much as possible and reduce the amount of remaining nutrients in the slabs, without compromising productivity. Water-use-efficiency of the zero-liquid discharge strategy could be optimised by steering towards more generative crop growth.

Onderzoek naar Ion specifiek telen. Meeropbrengst mogelijk; bemesten gebeurt nog altijd suboptimaal.
Oud, Nina ; Blok, Chris - \ 2019
How to deal with hybrids in the anthropocene? Towards a philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy 2.0
Hoły-Łuczaj, Magdalena ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Environmental Values 28 (2019)3. - ISSN 0963-2719 - p. 325 - 346.
Anthropocene - Biomimicry - Hybrids - Nature - Technology

The Anthropocene overthrows classical dichotomies like technology and nature and a new class of beings emerges: hybrids. The transitive status of hybrids - which establishes an extra, separate, ‘third’ ontological category, going beyond the dichotomy between nature and technology - constitutes a significant problem for environmental philosophy and philosophy of technology since they traditionally focus on either ʼnature’ (natural entities) or ‘artefacts’ (technological objects). In order to reflect on the ethical significance of hybrids, a classification of different types of hybrids is required. Such a classification is provided by this article, based on insights from both environmental philosophy and philosophy of technology. After explaining why a new class of beings emerges in the Anthropocene, and reflecting on the one-sidedness of philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy in their focus on either technology or nature, we propose a new classification of hybrids in this article that provides a new starting point for reflections on the moral significance of hybrids in environmental philosophy and philosophy of technology.

Strengthening the socio-ethical foundations of the circular economy: Lessons from responsible research and innovation
Inigo, Edurne A. ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Journal of Cleaner Production 233 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 280 - 291.
Circular economy - Responsible innovation - Sustainable development

The circular economy (CE) framework has captured the attention of industry and academia and received strong policy support. It is currently deemed as a powerful solution for sustainability, despite ongoing criticism on its oversimplification and lack of consideration of socio-ethical issues. In parallel, the concept of RRI has emerged strongly with a strong focus on the integration of social desirability in innovation under transparency, democracy and mutual responsiveness principles. In this paper, we critically examine the literature on the CE and RRI in order to find out how the different focus of RRI may provide an innovation governance framework to strengthen the CE framework. There are two main ways in which RRI could further the CE: first, anticipating unexpected consequences, helping to break disciplinary barriers and acknowledging systemic limits that are not currently taken into consideration; and second, the integration of socio-ethical issues in the CE, and addressing the social implications of the CE through stakeholder participation. However, future research should look at remaining blind spots of CE and RRI, such as non-technological innovation, the demand-side of innovation and the development of business models. With that objective, we suggest a research agenda for common development of the frameworks.

Metformin Alters Human Host Responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Healthy Subjects
Lachmandas, Ekta ; Eckold, Clare ; Böhme, Julia ; Koeken, Valerie A.C.M. ; Marzuki, Mardiana Binte ; Blok, Bastiaan ; Arts, Rob J.W. ; Chen, Jinmiao ; Teng, Karen W.W. ; Ratter, Jacqueline ; Smolders, Elise J. ; Heuvel, Corina Van den; Stienstra, Rinke ; Dockrell, Hazel M. ; Newell, Evan ; Netea, Mihai G. ; Singhal, Amit ; Cliff, Jacqueline M. ; Crevel, Reinout Van - \ 2019
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 220 (2019)1. - ISSN 0022-1899 - p. 139 - 150.
antimycobacterial mechanisms - gene transcription - host-directed therapy - Metformin - tuberculosis

BACKGROUND: Metformin, the most widely administered diabetes drug, has been proposed as a candidate adjunctive host-directed therapy for tuberculosis, but little is known about its effects on human host responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. METHODS: We investigated in vitro and in vivo effects of metformin in humans. RESULTS: Metformin added to peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers enhanced in vitro cellular metabolism while inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin targets p70S6K and 4EBP1, with decreased cytokine production and cellular proliferation and increased phagocytosis activity. Metformin administered to healthy human volunteers led to significant downregulation of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, mammalian target of rapamycin signaling, and type I interferon response pathways, particularly following stimulation with M. tuberculosis, and upregulation of genes involved in phagocytosis and reactive oxygen species production was increased. These in vivo effects were accompanied by a metformin-induced shift in myeloid cells from classical to nonclassical monocytes. At a functional level, metformin lowered ex vivo production of tumor necrosis factor α, interferon γ, and interleukin 1β but increased phagocytosis activity and reactive oxygen species production. CONCLUSION: Metformin has a range of potentially beneficial effects on cellular metabolism, immune function, and gene transcription involved in innate host responses to M. tuberculosis.

Seeing Through the Fumes: Technology and Asymmetry in the Anthropocene
Zwier, Jochem ; Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Human Studies (2019). - ISSN 0163-8548
Anthropocene - Asymmetry - Bataille - Cybernetics - Earth - Heidegger

This paper offers a twofold ontological conceptualization of technology in the Anthropocene. On the one hand, we aim to show how the Anthropocene occasions an experience of our inescapable inclusion in the technological structuring of reality that Martin Heidegger associates with cybernetics. On the other hand, by confronting Heidegger’s thought on technology with Georges Bataille’s consideration of technological existence as economic and averted existence, we will criticize Heidegger’s account by arguing that notwithstanding its inescapable inclusion in cybernetics, technology in the Anthropocene itself fosters an experience of what remains excluded. We conclude by indicating how such an experience is relevant for contemporary philosophical investigation of technology.

The diffusion of climate-smart agricultural innovations: Systems level factors that inhibit sustainable entrepreneurial action
Long, Thomas B. ; Blok, Vincent ; Coninx, Ingrid - \ 2019
Journal of Cleaner Production 232 (2019). - ISSN 0959-6526 - p. 993 - 1004.
Climate-smart agriculture - Entrepreneurial eco-system - Entrepreneurship - Socio-technical transitions - Sustainability

Sustainable entrepreneurs are key actors in sustainability transitions; they develop needed innovations, create markets, and pressure incumbents. While socio-technical transitions literature is well developed, questions remain in terms of (1) the different roles that sustainable entrepreneurs can play in sustainable transitions, and (2) how best to empower these roles. To explore these challenges, we review literature and construct a framework combining the multilevel perspective and entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective. We apply this framework to the context of climate-smart agriculture in (Western and Central) Europe. By analysing semi-structured interview data (n = 27) we find that sustainable entrepreneurs are constrained by ineffective policy, resistant users, as well as novel alignment issues within the supply chain. We focus on the role of sustainable entrepreneurs as coordinators of action rather than developers of technological innovation within transition contexts characterised by low landscape pressures, large unmotivated incumbent firms, low consumer awareness and demand, and unincentivized users (farmers).

Trichoderma tegen Phytophthora op aardbei
Blok, C. ; Diaz Ismael, Andrea - \ 2019
Onder Glas 16 (2019)6/7. - p. 47 - 47.
The design and testing of a tool for developing responsible innovation in start-up enterprises
Long, Thomas B. ; Blok, Vincent ; Dorrestijn, Steven ; Macnaghten, Phil - \ 2019
Journal of Responsible Innovation (2019). - ISSN 2329-9460 - p. 1 - 31.
Innovation leads to new products, business models and even changes to socio-economic systems. However, it is important that innovation has the ‘right impacts’. Responsible innovation can help to achieve this; however, it is unclear how to introduce responsible innovation to real-world, competitive, industry settings. We explore this challenge in the context of sustainability orientated start-up enterprises, developing innovations within agriculture, food or energy. We develop a tool that provides innovators with a systematic way to identify socio-ethical issues. Using the concept of experiential learning, we track the impact of the tool across 12 cases. For the tool to install responsible innovation, we propose that a full learning cycle must be completed. We find evidence that the tool can enable a full learning cycle and provide a method to identify socio-ethical factors. We contribute by articulating and operationalising an approach to introduce responsible innovation principles into real-world contexts.
Agroforestry - klimaatneutraal voedsel produceren? : Plant je een boom dan plant je duurzaamheid
Blok, Alice ; Veluw, C. van - \ 2019
Ekoland (2019)1. - ISSN 0926-9142 - p. 62 - 63.
Recirculeren is kwestie van het juiste EVENWICHT zoeken. Waterkwaliteit verandert bij langdurig rondpompen.
Voogt, W. ; Blok, C. - \ 2019
Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij 2019 (2019)7. - ISSN 0042-2223 - p. 24 - 25.
Digitale modellen met meer inzicht vervangen Adviesboek bemesting. Bemestingsadviesbasis na twintig jaar weer bij de tijd.
Jung, Maartje ; Blok, C. ; Voogt, W. - \ 2019
Onder Glas 16 (2019)1. - p. 28 - 29.
Nothing Else Matters : Towards an Ontological Concept of the Materiality of the Earth in the Age of Global Warming
Blok, Vincent - \ 2019
Research in Phenomenology 49 (2019)1. - ISSN 0085-5553 - p. 65 - 87.
affordance - conativity - earth - global warming - world

If the world in which we are intentionally involved is threatened by climate change, this raises the question about our place on Earth. In this article, we argue that the ecological crisis we face today draws our attention to the Earth as ontic-ontological condition of our being-in-the-world. Because the Earth is often reflected upon in relation to human existence, living systems or material entities in the philosophical tradition, we argue for an ontological concept of the materiality of the Earth as un-correlated being in this article. We develop five principles of the materiality of the Earth: the conativity, non-identity, responsiveness, performativity and eventuality of the Earth. We will argue that it is this notion of Earth that matters to us in the age of global warming.

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