Nitrogen fertilization is essential for proper plant development. Its lack leads to diminished growth and so decreased crop production.
In order to plan crop fertilization, farmers perform constant soil testing of random soil samples for nitrogen soil concentration. Given the low accuracy level, testing relies on agricultural values.
Fearing inadequate soil nitrogen concentration, there is a tendency to over-fertilize, which results in high cost, soil and air pollution, etc.
So far, the exact nitrogen concentration needed for each individual crop has not been thoroughly examined.
The attached study was carried out by researchers headed by Dr. Ilya Gelfand from the Sde Boker campus of BGU. An ICA grant enabled the acquisition of a special instrument for accurate soil
nitrogen testing and crop-optimum calculation. The experiment was implemented in the fields of Kibbutz Urim on carrots, a major crop in the Western Negev.
This research led to an updated growth and fertilization protocol for carrots. Until then, nitrogen fertilization had been based on a wasteful protocol that resulted in damage.