Establishing nutrient management in the growing medium and plant requires the following: potting soil, substrate and greenhouse soil research, combined with nutritional solutions and drainage water analyzes. With these analyzes, it is possible to control the sufficient availability of nutrients. However, despite the optimal supply of nutrients, there still may be deficiencies or imbalances in the crop. The consequence of this are visual defects and growth retardation.

Soil temperature and greenhouse climate play an important role in the actual nutrient uptake by the crop. With the help of crop research, as a grower you can determine how much of the nutrients has actually entered into the plant. You are able to check whether the nutrients in the crop are at the desired level and in the correct proportions.

Eurofins Agro has therefore renewed the crop research. The renewed crop research determines dry matter, potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), nitrogen (N), chloride (Cl), sulfur (S), phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), boron (B), copper (Cu), and molybdenum (Mo). Aluminium (Al), Fluorine (F) and Silicon (Si) can additionally be determined on request. A deficiency in one of these essential nutrients can lead to reduced resilience and delayed growth.

Measuring these nutrients in the crop has been done for many years and in greenhouse horticulture, assessments and target paths have already been linked to it. These assessments and target paths have now been revised and renewed on the basis of a comprehensive dataset. Also, for new crops such as lettuce, impatiens, celosia, calathea and bamboo, assessment and target paths are available.

Until recently, the assessment was qualified in the words ‘low’, ‘good’ or ‘high’. In the renewed crop research, the assessment is shown in clear bars, in five categories ranging from ‘low’ to ‘high’. The grower sees at a glance whether the nutrients in the crop are at the right level. On this basis, the grower can check whether the nutrient uptake of the crop has been optimal and, if necessary, make adjustments in fertilization and/or greenhouse climate.

Optimization of production
But there is more possible with the crop research that can be carried out in tuber, bulb, stem, stalk and leaf. In certain crops it is used to determine the moment of harvesting. In a market where yield and storage quality are becoming increasingly important, crop research can therefore make a valuable contribution to optimization of production. In the open field, some customers are already benefiting from it. Thus open field growers make an inventory of the nutritional value of their products, as consumers also need sufficient nutrients on his or her plate.

For more information:
Eurofins Agro
+31(0)88 876 1014