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This email newsletter is the notification of the just published Plant nutrition courier 2020-04 issue.

Fluid phosphate fertiliser performance in calcareous soil is best at a low concentration

Diluted fluid phosphate fertilisers outperform concentrated equivalents in mildly calcareous soils. Kansas State University researchers observed this difference between concentrated and diluted fluid fertilisers in lab experiments. They urge to revisit the use of soil testing solutions and accompanying fertiliser recommendations when polyphosphate-based fluid fertilisers will be applied.
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Fertosphere-pH crucial to plant-availability of banded phosphorus

Water-soluble phosphate fertilisers differently affect the pH of the fertosphere. The pH of this fertiliser-enriched zone is of paramount importance to the plant-availability of band-applied fertiliser phosphorus. Phosphorus dose and soil properties also affect the fertosphere-pH, Australian researchers found in a laboratory study.
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Other fertiliser news:
• Polyhalite less leaching-sensitive than equivalent sulphate salts emissions
• Dual-release granular urea fertiliser
• Glauconite milled into potassium fertiliser
• Adjusting the phosphorus-availability of biochar
• Iron(III) phosphate nanofertiliser differently utilised

Nutrient balance reflects nutritional status of potato

Every potato variety has a unique balance of nutrient concentrations. Canadian scientists are exploring whether such balances can be used to diagnose the nutritional status of potato crops. They found that cultivars can be grouped according their nutrient balances. This approach can help to classify new cultivars in the appropriate group.
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Other soil and plant analysis news:
• Tuber nitrogen content is risk factor associated with tuber greening
• New indices for potato nitrogen status and tuber quality
• Previous-year phosphorus nutrition index indicates phosphorus fertiliser need of maize
• Determination of P and K in (in)organic fertilisers
• Arginine concentration indicates nitrogen status of peach
• Soil nitrite concentrations indicate hotspots and hot moments of nitrous oxide emissions

Foliar-applied urease inhibitor starves plant-pathogenic fungi

Fungi that penetrate plants via above-ground parts have to bridge a nitrogen deficiency gap at early stages of the infection process. They do so by degrading own purine into ammonia. Inhibition of the purine degradation pathway using a urease inhibitor can significantly reduce successful infection.
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Automated detection of deficiency in greenhouse-grown crops

Scientists have developed an automated remote sensing system to monitor the health of greenhouse-grown crops at sunset with help of a hyperspectral camera. A proof-of-concept study demonstrated the monitoring of the macronutrient status of pak choi (bok choy) and spinach as part of an on-going research effort to optimise and automate monitoring of greenhouse-grown crops.
Photograph: UC Davis
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Adjusting nutrient solution allows growth at low pH to limit root rot spread

A low pH of the hydroponic nutrient solution can significantly reduce the incidence of root diseases. Any nutritional problems associated with a low pH in the rootzone can be overcome by adjusting the micronutrient concentrations in the nutrient solution, according to a study into a new nutrient solution management strategy for growing leafy greens at low pH to reduce the spread of root rot and other diseases via the hydroponic solution.
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Importance of silicon for legumes underestimated

Silicon is broadly beneficial to legumes. Several researchers have also provided evidence that silicon promotes the legume–rhizobia interaction. Scientists therefore ask the rhetorical question: “Is it time to include legumes in plant silicon research?”
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