’I usually find out at the end of the year whether I’ve made any money’

Dirk Borchers from the North German town of Bad Zwischenahn is not a number’s guy. ‘I often act on gut feeling’, says the tree grower. He believes he could further benefit from making better use of his current 70 ha of land, and he sees a future in growing large-size trees above all.

It is a bumpy ride as Dirk Borchers drives his van across his land. Several roads on his farm have subsided and are infested with large potholes. ‘We’re on peat soil here, and two dry summers in recent years have caused soil failures in many places.’

Not that Borchers is complaining about the subsoil: ‘My soil is my capital. In the fifty years that we have been growing here, we have never had any soil fatigue. I am prudent about using pesticides, though, because there is little soil life in here.’ (..)

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