The efficiency of nutrition practices is assessed by measuring the concentration of nutrients in the soil solution and in the plant, which is known as nutritional monitoring. As the plant only absorbs nutrients from the liquid part of the soil, suction probes are placed at different depths, which simulate root absorption and samples of the soil solution are collected. In this manner, it is possible to learn how much of the fertilizer applied and how much of the native supply of nutrients is available to be absorbed by the crop. The efficiency of nutrient metabolism (absorption and assimilation) is checked via standard or specialist foliar analysis. Correctly interpreting the results helps to estimate the soil’s capacity to provide the plant with nutrients, and reach a diagnosis of the crop's nutritional status.
Soil and foliar analyses are used as diagnostic tools to measure the concentration of nutrients in the soil, their potential availability to the plant and their actual absorption levels. Calibrating these soil and foliar analyses enables us to estimate the likely response to application of nutrients in the form of fertilizer, in order to form the basis of a nutritional monitoring program.
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