Bases for efficient nutrition by environments

By Agriculture. 21/09/2022 | 09:09


Balanced nutrition is the management factor that has the greatest impact when it comes to narrowing yield gaps in Argentine fields, today largely affected by fertility problems. On the other side, the water crisis and the complex global context challenge us to be more efficient and adjust nutrients by environment based on diagnostics to aim for good yields and environmental care.

During his time at Agenda Aapresid, Luis Verri left all his expertise in ambient fertilization for the next thick crop.

Fertility diagnosis: the philosopher’s stone of management by environments

Any nutrition strategy based on the environment begins with a diagnosis, which lays the foundations to be able to plan tailored to each batch, remarked Luis Verri, producer of the Vicua Mackenna Regional of Aapresid.

To reach an initial diagnosis, traditional tools available to any producer can be used, such as soil analysis. At a higher technological level, there is monitoring through different types of sensors, either placed on machinery or in meteorological stations, which record various physical or chemical properties of the soil and environmental conditions, which are digitized by associated software.

But the data accumulated in spreadsheets, in the cloud, on a pen drive or in the planting monitor is useless if they are not interpreted and analyzed. This invaluable record makes sense if it is crossed with other variables such as yield, water table depth or environmental conditions to extract added value from this information, and use it as input to make better decisions. This will allow opening the doors to variable dosage and capturing an additional benefit by applying supplies by environment, explained Verri.

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Diagnose to gain efficiency in difficult years

A nut to adjust in these times is the efficiency of nutrient use, understood as the kilos of grain produced per unit of nutrient applied. Soil fertility is the result of multiple factors and complex processes. For this reason, to gain efficiency, it is essential to know in advance not only the initial situation of the batch, but also the relationships between the nutrients and the different sources that provide them.
Chemical fertilization is the most widely used nutrient supply with the most immediate response, with doses adjusted based on soil analysis and crop requirements, among others. Strengthening the synergy between the elements of the soil, as occurs between sulfur and nitrogen, or avoiding antagonisms such as the one between phosphorus and zinc, is key to adding efficiency, said the Cordob referent.

But on the way to improving nutritional efficiency, biology is a great ally. The diversification of rotations and the inclusion of service crops (CS), not only provide organic nutrients, but also improve the physical conditions and soil biology, facilitating the bioavailability of nutrients. For the incorporation of CS to have a real benefit, an optimal carbon/nitrogen ratio must be maintained so as not to have nitrogen immobilized for the subsequent crop. It will also be necessary to consider the inhibitory effect that chemical fertilization can have on the biological cycles of nutrients, experts warn.

Facing the next thick, the producer recommended investing in diagnosis and pointing to defensive and more efficient management strategies, tending to take precautions and take care of the margins. In this way, nutrition by environments definitely has a lot to contribute.

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Source: Aapresid