The management of nutrition in soilless cultivations poses serious difficulties to growers, because the calculation of the fertilizers needed to prepare a nutrient solution requires a good background in chemistry and is time consuming.
Multiple factors affect the composition of a nutrient solution. Calculations have to be specific for each grower and cropping stage, due to differences both in the mineral composition of the irrigation water used to prepare nutrient solutions, and in cropping conditions, which entail individual decisions about adaptations in nutrient supply during the cropping period. Thus, there is a need for modern computational tools operating as Decision Support Systems (DSS) which can provide easy and accurate calculation and adaptation of nutrient solutions in each commercial enterprise whenever needed.
To address this necessity, a special DSS for the creation of nutrient solution formulae as well as for their adjustment during the cropping period was developed by Professor Dimitrios Savvas and his team at the Agricultural University of Athens. This DSS, which was partly supported by TOMRES, is called ‘NUTRISENSE’ and is accessible at nutrisense.online.
NUTRISENSE can be used to automatically calculate nutrient solutions for any greenhouse crop, taking into consideration the plant species, the stage of plant development (e.g. vegetative, reproductive), the season of the year, the type of hydroponic system (open, closed, substrate based or water culture, etc.), the composition of the available irrigation water, and some technical information about the available equipment (e.g. size of stock solution tanks). Furthermore, NUTRISENSE can be used to readjust the composition of the currently applied nutrient solution taking into consideration the composition of the drainage solution whenever it is determined in a chemical laboratory.
If you have any queries, comments, or suggestions, you can contact Dimitrios Savvas at firstname.lastname@example.org.