Green Crop Nutrition
"Science Working With Nature"
Soil and Tissue testing should never be looked at as extra expense but as a necessary cost saving investment. Agricultural testing has become the grower’s best tool for saving money by reducing leaching and the high cost of chemicals. Testing not only tells what nutrients are needed to produce a good crop but it also tells you the condition of the soil and the health of the biological life. By proper soil testing and interpretation, we can can tell if the microbial life is alive and well. Testing can pinpoint the correct amount of nutrients your soil is able to hold without being leached to the ground water. With the use of precision testing, growers have a better idea of the shelf life of their crops and what they need to do to have optimum production.
Healthy sod is no accident. It is accomplished by following good soil recommendations.
At Green Crop Nutrition/Quality Green Specialists, Inc. we believe in working to assist Nature by using science to ensure that amendments are added to the soil only if they are needed to produce the best crops possible. Over application of fertilizers is wasteful and harmful to the environment. By combining natural processes with scientific methods, we assure that nature will be preserved while producing cost effective, nutrionally healthy crops.
Proper soil management that includes soil and tissue testing can guarantee this waterfall continues to be clean and pristine for years to come.
Dana Venrick with Quality Green Specialists, Inc. and Green Crop Nutrition checking the Undurraga Vineyard near Santiago,Chile.
Balancing the soil is more then just applying the correct amount of nutrients. We also have to be concerned with the overall Soil Health. Soil health is defined by its ability to perform essential ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling, water filtration, and habitat for both plant and animals, Properties that help determine a healthy soil are texture, depth, density, water filtration, holding capacity, organic matter, and respiration. These properties are influenced by microorganisms and larger soil-dwelling animals such as earthworms. When the health of this ecosystem is disturbed by sudden changes, such as excess fertilizer application (especially high salt index chemical fertilizer), over tilling, applying herbicides or pesticides, there can be devastating effects on the soil's biological life. When this happens, the soil's microbes cannot perform the tasks they were design to do and the damaged soil cannot produce a healthly, productive crop. Healthy soils that produce high value crops have an abundance of natural, beneficial microbial life. Great soils with dark green heathy plants produce crops that are far more resistant to attacks by insects and fungi. Soils with an abundance of beneficial microbes also protect and hold minerals, and help them to become available to plants.
Soil pH is misunderstood and is often used in the wrong way. Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and gauges the hydrogen-ion concentration in the soil. It should never be used to decide any corrective treatments. If pH is out of desired range for your crop, you should have a complete soil sample performed to make the necessary corrective treatments. Treating soil based only on pH can be costly and result in crop damage. Even if soil is in the desired pH range, the levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc. that are reponsible for the pH may not be at appropiate individual levels. Soil pH influences the solubility of nutrients. It also affects the activity of micro-organisms responsible for breaking down organic matter and most chemical transformations in the soil. Soil pH thus affects the availability of several plant nutrients. Below is a chart of nutrient availability at various pH ranges.