Soil and substrate testing to estimate nutrient availability and salinity status

C. Sonneveld, W. Voogt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    In the greenhouse industry methods have been developed for the determination of the nutrient availability and salinity status of soils and substrates. As in other agriculture branches, soil testing has the aim to estimate the availability, including the solubility as well the quantity, of plant nutrients to enable the farmer to get maximum production with minimum fertilizer use. The success of the farmer thereby does not depend only on the precision of the method, but also on the knowledge of the requirements of the crop. Both the utility of the soil testing method and the fertilizer application in relation to the results to get maximum yield will be calibrated in fertilizer experiments. Until lately, farmers based their decision about the amount of fertilizer addition on the costs of the fertilizer and the profits of the expected yield increase. However, in recent years farmers also have to consider the environmental aspects in their decisions. Fertilizer applications should be focussed also on their effects to pollution of soil, water and air. Beside the availability of nutrients, the determinations of characteristics for the salinity status are important and interact with the fertilization programme considered. The definitions given so far are operative for greenhouse crops as well as for crops grown in the field. However, soil testing for greenhouse industry has some specific aspects which will be mentioned beforehand, because they are important in relation to the methods used. The aspects in view for greenhouses are following.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPlant nutrition of greenhouse crops
    EditorsC. Sonneveld, W. Voogt
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherSpringer
    Pages53-81
    Number of pages431
    ISBN (Print)9789048125319
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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