Monitoring progress and performance
The missing link in efficient fertiliser management is being able to quickly and cheaply prove what you are doing is working and not overdosing the crop. Most crops will take a large measure of overdosing without showing any visible effects. When this is happening, you are wasting fertiliser and money.
The answer may lie in rapid sap tests which can be done cheaply on site to verify the crop is on target. Reliable standards for optimum performance need to be developed for a range of crops in different seasons to make this technology truly useful.
Using drainage lysimeters at regular intervals to measure water and nutrient loads passing below the crop’s root zone can help improve fertiliser management.
Dennis Phillips, Bob Paulin and John Burt authored the original version of this material.