Excessive use of fertiliser not only damages the soil health but also adversely affect the health of people who consume agriculture produce. This is a loss making proposition even for a farmer since input cost has gone up sharply. What could be better than applying just optimum level of fertiliser required for a specific crop grown rather than applying a general recommendation. Not only nutritional intake varies from crop to crop but their nutritional requirements also changes from crop to crop. Normal soil testing technique will help a farmer decipher soil’s health. However this technique will only help partially in knowing about what crop needs from the soil. Even if excessive fertiliser is used, the crop will only absorb nutrition that it needs. On the other hand excessive nutrition is going to damage the environment. Apart from soil test there are other valuable tools such Leaf Analysis that helps determine personalised fertiliser requirements and helps in taking better management decisions in regards to plant nutrition.
Leaf Nutrient Analysis is a widely used diagnostic tool to determine three things:
• The factors those are responsible for nutrient disorder and to arrive at corrective measure.
• Estimating fertiliser requirements before occurrence of any nutrition disorder.
• Avoid excessive use of fertiliser.
Analysis helps farmer to overcome situation of shortage and overdose and there by mitigate any chance of nutrient disorder. For example if NPK is administered at the wrong time or in wrong proportion then it is going to delay the growth of the tree leading it to winter injury.
There are varieties of fertilisers available in the market to cater to various nutrients need of the plant. Since nutritional requirements vary from plant to plant, not every fertiliser is helpful to all plants. Nutrient Analysis helps farmer avoid application of unnecessary fertiliser. This helps farmer save money and also prevents excessive use of fertiliser. Efficient and educated fertiliser usage is very important for commercial scale plantation to maintain competitive cost advantage in domestic and international market.
Leaf Analysis has other benefits such as it helps farmers maintain the quality aspects of their farm produce. For example excessive use of nitrogen can lead to oversized, poorly coloured fruit with shorter shelf life. Analysis also helps in detecting toxicity of soil in an existing farm, orchard or while planning to purchase land for the purpose of farming or orchard.
Leaf Nutrient Analysis is a proven diagnostic tool to compare nutritional variance between normal and abnormal section of the field. Leaf Nutrient Analysis is worthwhile to determine the nutritional requirements of the crop. Since the crop values continue to rise, it makes sense to use tools like this and soil sampling for a successful yield. However just keep in mind that Leaf Analysis alone should not be the basis for making fertiliser decision. It should always be used alongside soil test results, cropping history and records of nutrient application.