Nutrient management is critical to successful vegetable production. Given the high value and exacting market standards for size, appearance, and postharvest quality for vegetable crops, fertilizer management practices have focused on optimizing production across a wide range of field conditions. While effective in producing good crops, these practices are not necessarily reflective of input costs or environmental protection. As growers face increasingly stringent regulations designed to minimize nutrient losses to the environment, a new look at fertilization practices is warranted.
Drawing on 25 years of industry experience, the author outlines the principles of nutrient management that are broadly applicable across crops and production regions.
Growers, PCAs, and fertilizer industry professionals will find a practical understanding of crop nutrient requirements, soil nutrient availability, the value and limitations of soil and plant nutrient monitoring, and environmental protection in these pages.