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From Sample
to Plan?

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We invite farms to get more management information from soil and crop samples.

 

Sign up for the project (in Dutch) below, co-funded by SNN: 

  • New techniques to extract steering information from soil and crop samples

  • Guidance from experienced agronomists to translate data into specific plans

  • Latest insights from the RijksUniversiteit Groningen and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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Resilient crops for higher yields

A Unique Opportunity for Insight and Growth

What would you say if you could make adjustments during the growing season for nutrient deficiency or excess? If you could reduce the amount of fertilizer, and restore the soil without loss of harvest or increasing susceptibility to pests and diseases? 

Imagine if you could reduce the amount of fertilizer, restore your soil, all without crop loss or increased susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Improving the natural resistance of crops and restoring the soil requires a new approach. This approach requires specific management information. This information helps you make targeted adjustments during the growing season, such as the use of foliar fertilizer, compost and other treatments.

Scientists and agronomists are continuously refining these measurement tools. These developments provide exceptional opportunities for new insights into agricultural practices.

This project focuses on improving the practical use of two innovative measurement tools for growers, arable and livestock farmers.

beautiful blooming farm of flowers

What are we going to do?

We are going to follow a plot for two years. We start with a soil analysis and we follow two crops on the plot with 4 plant sap measurements per year. 

The Albrecht method and plant sap analyses provide farmers with the tools to optimize their soil and crop health. Together, these methods enable farmers to make data-driven decisions, leading to more sustainable practices and improved economic efficiency.

PlantSap Measurement
With a plant sap measurement, you look into the "bloodstream of a plant." Two samples of field crops are needed at a time; 150 grams of old leaf and 150 grams of new leaf. You get a picture of the minerals/trace elements in the plant; are there enough, are there not too many? 

With leaf feeding you can often make adjustments. 

With grass it is not possible to select old and young leaves. There we do one sample at a time. 

Although the measurements are interesting, the context is especially important. That is one of the reasons Soilbeat was developed. All measurements and relevant data can be easily loaded and displayed graphically on a time bar in any combination imaginable. This allows connections to be seen between the soil, crop, weather, fertilization, operations and any corrections. 

 

Albrecht Soil Research

The Albrecht method allows them to fine-tune the soil's mineral balance for better crop growth and higher yields, while plant sap analyses provide direct insights into nutritional deficiencies, allowing farmers to adjust their fertilization for healthier and more resilient crops.

Enzymes soil research

In addition to the measurements mentioned above, we are also doing two new measurements, which the RUG is investigating together with the VU. It aims to measure the activity of soil life. 

What does participation cost?
In total, for a value of about 3,000 euros over 2 years, participating agricultural advisors receive a package of advice, soil samples, plant sap analyses and licenses for the SoilBeat platform including personal guidance in onboarding structuring the data. We also ask for an own contribution of 475 euros per farmer. 

What is it all about?
By ensuring that crops have all the minerals/trace elements they need, photosynthesis will be at a higher level. The plant has more energy available and will be healthier, thus less susceptible to diseases and pests. Moreover, with more targeted fertilization in potatoes, for example, we see less foliage but more potatoes. In grass, the conversion of nitrate into protein is very important. This requires a number of minerals. The nitrogen needs of the grass can also be better controlled. 

In short, as a farmer you get extra information on which you can steer. SoilBeat was designed from the farmer's perspective. That is why we would like to do this project with as many farmers as possible, to get the best possible feedback. 

The Project in Detail

  • Maximum number of participants: 125 farms

  • Target group: Cattle farmers, arable farmers and horticulturists focused on soil health and crop growth.

  • Duration: 2024 and 2025

  • Includes: Use of SoilBeat for data organization, personal intake with advisor, multiple plant sap measurements with analysis and advice.

 

Participation Options.

Choice of two options; ranging from more intensive monthly personal counseling or advice via web shops. 

  • Option A - Personal Advice: Monthly guidance and advice based on soil and plant measurements. Max 45 spots, preference for farmers from Region North. BE QUICK!

  • Option B - Advice via Workshops: 4 hands-on workshops focused on intepreting plant sap analyses, throughout the growing season.

The Project Partners

This project is carried out by a unique consortium of project partners, consisting of SoilBeat, agronomists specializing in regenerative agriculture and the scientific institutions. 

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