More than twenty years ago, AGQ Labs, the Spanish multinational, started its journey offering this service. In these two decades, this control procedure has evolved and the company has accumulated experience and a vast database, which has allowed it to have a reference of the optimal nutritional values of major crops throughout the agricultural seasons in both hemispheres, as well as technical and technological keys to achieve them (laboratories, knowledge, and experience).
SAT Royal, Driscoll's, Unifrutti, Hortifrut, Sun Belle, Les Domaines Agricole, Paramount Citrus, Drokasa or Dole, are just some of the agricultural production companies that have implemented this system for years in different countries, such as the United States, Spain, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, and Egypt.
The technical directors of these companies all agree in saying that the Monitoring and Nutrition Control systems have helped them be more profitable, as the crops achieve their full productive potential and produce the desired quality throughout the entire harvest. According to Juan Luis Rodríguez, general director of Royal, "we achieve this because we can control the crops at all times and have the absolute certainty that we are providing them with what they need. In agriculture there are no magic recipes that you can implement in different farms or in different years. The important thing is to manage the crops with accurate information, and this is what AGQ Labs provides us with," he said.
Cost-effective, global and sustainable agriculture
According to Eduardo Montes, manager of Corpora Agricola, which has more than 300 hectares of grapes for export in Chile, "incorporating the nutritional monitoring technology of AGQ Labs has enabled us to enter and stay in more demanding markets."
Meanwhile, Nacho Gonzalez, the President of Agro Gonzalez, which has 1,000 acres of avocados in production in Jalisco, Mexico, stated, "in addition to being an efficient tool for managing the crop, it has helped us to reduce costs in fertilizer and allowed us to certify that we are not contaminating the soil and aquifers because, by giving the plant what it really needs we produce no leaching." Many supermarkets and retailers demand that their food products be grown via this kind of sustainable agriculture; a demand that is also widespread among consumers.
According to Miguel Valero, the corporate director of agribusiness in AGQ Labs, "we currently provide our services to agricultural enterprises in nearly 30 countries, and we control some two million hectares of valuable crops (such as berries, citrus fruits, avocados, fruit trees, olive trees, etc.)." The Crop Monitoring and Nutritional Control developed and patented by AGQ Labs, is based on the evaluation of the transit of ions along the root structure. To do this, the company analyzes the real fertilizer solution (taken from the irrigation tape) and extracts soil from different depths through a probe, to see how its composition profile evolves. This analysis is performed periodically during the phenological cycle and complemented with plant material trials. These results are then interpreted by agronomists specializing in agricultural chemistry and plant nutrition, who then establish the corrective measures that need to be implemented during the crop cycle.