Friday, May 24, 2024
General Agriculture

General Purpose of Plant Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool

The aim of plant analysis is to investigate the composition of plant tissue, both in terms of its elements and its extractable fractions.

Plant tissue is obtained by sampling a particular portion of a crop, at a certain time of the year, or during a certain stage of the crop’s morphological development. The sample concentration is usually expressed on a dry matter basis.

Once it has been obtained, the sample undergoes analysis for amino acids or other organic compounds, all used in determining a crop’s quality.

Plant analysis bases itself on the principle that the concentration of a nutrient in a plant is an integral value of all the factors interacting to affect it. Therefore, plant analysis has been, involved in determining a plant’s optimum concentrations of essential nutrients under various conditions.

For most crops, these include concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, B, Cl, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, and Zinc; in addition to Co, for most legumes. In some instances, the non-essential element, Al, is also determined because of its adverse effect on growth and yields.

In order to interpret data collected during plant analysis, certain relationships have been developed. These include the basic ones between the growth rate and/or yield of a crop, and its nutrient supply and concentration.

Read Also: Soil Sampling Procedures

General Purpose of Plant Analysis as a Diagnostic Tool

An optimum nutrient supply is needed in modern agriculture for high-yield crops.

Plant analysis is a useful tool for the diagnosis of nutritional status/ deficiencies. To investigate the composition of plant tissue both in terms of their elements and their extractable fractions.

Plant tissue is obtained by sampling a particular portion of a crop at a certain time of the year, or during a certain stage of the crop’s morphological development.

Plant analysis gives a direct index (the best indicator) of the nutritional status of crops and is a useful tool for the detection of yield-limiting factors.

It is especially useful in detecting latent deficiency (hidden hunger) without visible symptoms. Any symptom/deficiency observed must be corrected within 2 weeks to avoid crop loss.

Plant analysis provides a powerful concept that not only enables effective fertilization but also serves as a critical measurement for the interpretation of fertilizer experiments. Diagnostic methods must be standardized.

To confirm a suspected nutrient element deficiency, when visual symptoms are present, before supplying a corrective treatment.

Particularly good for confirmation of micronutrients.

Useful in obtaining information for the succeeding year.

To monitor the plant nutrient element status in order to determine if the concentration of each tested nutrient is sufficient for optimum yield.

In forestry, in predicting the requirements of trees because the leaves/ needles are indicators of nutrient status. The topmost leaves are usually sampled.

Read Also: Steps in Conducting Soil Test Calibration and Fertilizer Recommendation

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with over 12 years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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