SoilCares Scanner Fertilizer Recommendations
Read here more about what the SoilCares Scanner Fertilizer Recommendations are composed of and how they are calculated.
The fertilizer recommendations provided by the SoilCares Scanner are determined using the measured soil properties and the characteristics of the crop the farmer is growing. This is done in four steps:
1. Evaluation of the soil fertility status.
The Scanner first determines the specific soil properties of the farmer’s field regarding the soil acidity and temperature, the organic matter content and the nutrient content of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P2O5), and potassium (K2O).
2. Estimation of the crop yield.
The farmer estimates his target yield for a specific crop. The higher the yield the more nutrients are needed.
3. Determination of the nutrient and soil management requirements.
The soil parameters are used to estimate the soil’s natural supply of the Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. The crop’s nutrient, lime, compost and manure requirements are estimated using this existing natural nutrient supply and the targeted yield.
4.Selection of the most suitable fertilizers.
The best suitable combination of fertilizers is then selected to match the nutrient requirement.
This calculation is done following the “mass balance” approach:
Fertilizers are recommended to fulfill the crop’s nutrient need and therefore stimulate its growth. The optimum fertilizer application rate depends on the natural nutrient supply (estimated by the soil properties), the crop requirements (given by the targeted yield), and the local climatic conditions.
Macro-nutrients : N, P, K
A best option and two alternatives are selected using an optimization algorithm that also considers the regionally available fertilizers. If more than one nutrient is needed compound fertilizers (Fertilizer that integrates 2 or 3 of the three nutrient elements in NPK) are preferred. A maximum of three fertilizers are recommended per application.
Whatever the nitrogen need is, the crop’s requirement will be matched with N fertilizers.
The P2O5 and K2O requirements are matched as well as possible considering the products available locally. If a product fits all nutriment requirements perfectly it will be the “best option”. It is also possible that 2 products are needed to meet the requirements.
To correct the soil status when it comes to P2O5 and K2O we apply fertilizers so that the soil nutrient rate matches the crop nutrient uptake (adequate level). If the soil has a low soil status more P2O5 and K2O so that on the long term the crop can reach its optimum production. A high soil status will require less P2O5 and K2O fertilizers.
Other parameters : Organic matter and pH
Lime and compost are necessary to correct the soil acidity and organic matter levels of the soil.
Adding lime will adjust the soil acidity (pH) of the soil to the optimum level required for a good crop growth. The recommended quantity will depend on the soil pH and texture. Compost can be added to maintain soil organic matter levels, which are essential to a healthy soil and soil structure. The recommended quantity is optimized to balance the natural organic matter decomposition and the common application rates of the farmer’s region.
The Scanner reports are available on the App but also available in PDF format and to be printed on portable printers.