Excessive use of nutrients has devastated our soils by burning away organic matter and creating salinisation problems. The environmental problems caused by fertilisers are serious and finally our ability to produce food will be jeopardised if we do not change current fertiliser practises.

Take home messages:

  • Nutrient (product) applications should always be based on  crop and soil requirements
  • Crop requirements change throughout their development cycle
  • More is not always better !
  • Responsible fertilisation is equal to saving soil productivity for our children

Some basics about nutrients

The famous barrel of Liebig having different height staves each representing a growth factor, is a simplified explanation of the fact that yield is dictated not by total resources available, but by the scarcest resource. This ‘law of the minimum’ is useful for understanding that it has not much sense to apply excessive amounts of nitrogen fertiliser when the crop in fact lacks calcium (or another element). This concept serves us well in advising fertilisation strategies as we know pretty well how much of each fertiliser element crops need at certain growth stages. Meanwhile, there still exists a large amount of uncertainty about which ratios to maintain between nutritive elements and about the uptake and use efficiencies of those elements under different circumstances. Scientific and practical knowledge about the minimum required levels of certain stimulants and microbes is basically missing although it is very clear that such compounds can have huge impacts on yield levels.

All our advice and products combine the smart use of Energy, Nutrients and Stimulants. We generate practical, simplified but scientifically sound advice and all Croptivate® products contain these three functional ingredients.