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Fertilization and Irrigation - Become an Expert

Topic 1: How to design the ideal fertilizer program

We will discuss the factors affecting the design of a fertilizer program.

Nutrient response curves.

Yield potential

Law of minimum

Soil analysis

Nutrient requirements

Common units of expression

Water quality

Tissue analysis

Economic considerations

Application methods


Topic 2: Irrigation water quality

We will discuss the following:

Parameters defining the quality of the irrigation water

Salinity and its effects

Specific toxicities

Sodium and its effects

Classification of water quality

Water pH and alkalinity


Topic 3: How to master fertigation

Fertigation methods

Preparation of stock solutions – solubility, compatibility, common ion effect

Fertilizer injectors

Injection ratios

Topic 4: How to balance nutrient solutions

The Equivalent

Cation-anion balance

What does a “balanced nutrient solution” mean?

Nutrient ratios

Ammonium/Nitrate ratio


Topic 5: How to interpret soil test results

Absorption of nutrients

Salinity vs. Fertility

Extraction methods

Interpreting the results

Approaches for balancing soils


Topic 6: Soil salinity and how to manage it

The effects of salinity

Sodium effects

The relation between salinity and sodicity

Causes of soil salinity

How to measure soil salinity

Strategies to prevent salinity buildup

Reclaiming saline soils

Topic 7: Exercise

We will do a practical exercise that includes designing a

complete fertilizer program, interpreting soil test results

and designing a fertigation schedule.


Topic 8: Nutrient management in soilless culture

Types of growing substrates

Open and closed systems

Nutrient concentration in the nutrient solution

Nutrient management methods

The pH of the nutrient solution

Carbonate equilibrium


Topic 9: Irrigation scheduling

Water requirements of crops


Discuss on methods of irrigation scheduling

The soil water


Topic 10: Irrigation scheduling in soilless culture

Parameters that affect the irrigation scheduling

Physical properties of growing media

Water retention curves

Air/water ratios in growing media

Determining the water requirements of the plant

Methods to determine the irrigation frequency

Discussion on different approaches of irrigation regimes