Improved soil fertility can boost yields
Tubaña is also looking at ways to account for the amount of nitrogen present in the soil. If researchers are able to come up with a way to accurately quantify the existence of nitrogen in the soil in-season, either via soil testing or optical sensing, then the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied can be tailored based on crop needs and available nitrogen in the soil. Complicating matters is that soil types can influence the uptake of nutrients.
The success of Tubaña’s research would allow producers to have a plan that can maximize their fertilizer applications, decrease their input costs and minimize the impact on the environment by reducing the amount of nitrates introduced into ground and surface waters. She believes that to ensure fertilization guidelines are effective, soil fertility research should be a continuous program to keep in pace with the changing production technology.