How to manage soil fertility
Applying nutrients to the crop is essential in managing soil fertility so the plants grow and develop normally. A number of crop problems can be related to inefficient management of nutrients and nutrient imbalances in the field.
Site-Specific Nutrient Management
Site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) enables farmers to dynamically adjust fertilizer use, by supplying optimum amounts of nutrients at critical time points in the crop's growth to produce high yields.
In SSNM, farmers tailor their nutrient management strategy to the specific conditions of their field.
The following are steps in SSNM:
Establish an attainable yield target
Identify estimated yield based on location and season. Consider factors such as climate, rice cultivar, and crop management.
The yield target determines the total amount of nutrients that must be taken up by the crop.
Effectively use existing nutrients
Indigenous nutrients which comes from the soil, along with organic materials, crop residues, manures and irrigation, need to be managed properly to achieve optimal crop nutrient uptake.
Apply fertilizer to fill in other nutritional needs of the crop
NPK fertilizers are applied to supplement indigenous nutrients.
The quantity of application is determined by the target yield and the amount of nutrients needed by the crop.
To assess the crop's nutrient needs, use the Leaf Color Chart.