Crop Nutritional Monitoring (CNM™) is the only tool that enables a proper diagnosis of a crop’s nutritional state
This process consists of generating information in order to continually evaluate a plant’s response to the fertilization plan applied, and for the monitoring and physiological control of that response.
Continual monitoring during the crop’s phenological states of soil solution behavior allows us to ascertain the plant’s absorption and assimilation of elements. This method is based on a study of ion dynamics throughout the root profile, as well as the ions’ relationship with the chemical composition of the various plant organs (leaf, sap, fruit, etc.) during the phenological cycle.
Continual evaluation of ion dynamics in the profile is accomplished through an analysis and study of irrigation water, compared with the irrigation fertilizer solution (IFS), which makes it possible to audit the fertilization plan. Soil solutions extracted with patented lysimeters at different root profile depths, compared to the foliar diagnostic, provides us with the actual on-site nutritional state.
This methodology works to ensure an optimal utilization of nutrients, thus minimizing fertilization excesses.
This analytical process, carried out using state-of-the-art equipment and the highest quality standards, coupled with interpretations in the field, in the form of advice, lead to corrective actions to be implemented between each sampling. In that way, the crop’s true needs are successfully determined at each stage.
Nutritional Monitoring makes it possible to determine:
- The fertilization solution best suited to be applied at each stage of the cycle, for each SOIL-PLANT-WATER system.
- The best chemical forms of elements for use on each soil profile to ensure the best ion availability and nutrient absorption.
- How to avoid and overcome typical nutrient antagonisms and unbalanced adverse conditions (saline conditions, elevated temperature, etc.).
- What the plant is not using (leached solution or solution drainage), thus minimizing its environmental impact.
- Evaluating new sources of fertilization and soil improvements, thereby determining how they act and their true impact.
- Over time, establishing the actual fertilization program for each specific site in order to improve their productivity, quality, and food security.
Based on the Fertilization Solution Analysis we will ascertain:
- Auditing and Control of fertilizer contributions.
- Quality and Composition of the different fertilizers.
- Control of the irrigation system. Control and monitoring of flows.
- Precipitates or obstructions in the irrigation system.
- Control of proportionality of the injector pumps.
- Availability of each chemical element.
- Existence of synergies and/or antagonisms.
- Information on the Hydrologic Gradient.
- If the elements are absorbed, to what degree and in what ionic form. The state of aeration of a soil. Oxygen poor environments. Swamping.
- Water utilization and physiological availability of water.
Based on Foliar Dynamics we will ascertain:
- Most important drainage times.
- Elements of greatest importance at each phenological stage.
- Elements of greatest quantity for success in production.
- Efficiency of the various nutritional products in foliar applications.
The number of agronomical variables we face is high (irrigation waters, soil profiles, plant species and varieties, etc.). Our objective, with that in mind, is to obtain, with the smallest possible deviations and with the maximum technical and scientific rigor, an optimal nutritional control over the totality of the fields. We thus design as many control modules for each farm as there are reference plots.
A Control Plot is defined as a surface area and crop unit with similar soil and physiological characteristics (plant species and varieties). Control plots are established in representative zones of the area sought to be characterized with homogeneity in:
- Soil type
- Irrigation sector
- Sector of optimal productivity and/or quality
- Sector with non-specific deficiency.
General sampling plan:
At each Control Plot, the following analytical program is carried out:
- Prior to commencing with the fertilization plan
- An irrigation water sample: to determine the quality and chemical properties of that water.
- A soil sample.
This allows us to:
- Ascertain the quality of the water with which we will be irrigating.
- Evaluate soil texture, structure, and fertility.
- Take the actions needed to obtain a suitable soil structure (problems of salinity, pH values, etc.).
- Take the actions needed to correct problems of fertility or of excesses, so that the fertilization plan will be successful.
- During the execution of the fertilization plan.
With a variable interval range (from 4 times for vegetables and 6 for fruits, up to as many as may be necessary), based on the characteristics of each crop, variety, etc., the following is analyzed:
- Irrigation Fertilization Solution (IFS) in drip, spray, micro-spray or micro-jet, soil solutions (*) at 8 inches, 16 inches and 24 inches (or agreed-upon depth. depending upon the crop), taken through AGQ’s exclusive lysimeters.
- Foliar analysis (**).
- Optional: Fruits (***), roots (****) or other organs of interest.
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(*) Analysis of pH, Electrical Conductivity, nitrates, ammonia, sulfates, chlorides, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, and phosphates (Optional: Urea, bicarbonates, aluminum, and silicon).
(**) Analysis of macro and micro elements (Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chlorides, sulfates, boron, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, molybdenum).(optional: nitric nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen, silicon, aluminum).
(***) Nutritional quality analysis (dry material, moisture, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, total calcium, bound calcium, silicon, boron, zinc, copper, manganese, iron).
(****) Analysis of reserves (arginine, starch, phosphorus, potassium).