WHAT IS A MONITORING PROGRAM:
A Crop Monitoring Program is a method of observing plant nutrient status throughout the growing season. By obtaining plant nutrient information at all the critical stages in the growing cycle, the grower can make full use of fertilizer inputs to achieve optimum growths. Soil reaction and the salt content of soil are two factors of extreme importance in evaluating its production potential for Ginseng crops.
HEAVY METAL IN GINSENG:
Heavy metals are available in acidic soils. Since Ginseng is grown in acidic soil with a pH of 5.0-6.0, heavy metals are available to the plant. These effects concern practically all physiological functions. The effect of heavy metal toxicity on ginseng root growth, water transport and water transpiration is the main objective of the K Laboratories Monitoring Program.
HEAVY METAL IN GINSENG CULTIVATION:
The term "heavy metal" commonly refers to metals either with a specific weight higher than 5 g/cm3 or an atomic number above 20. Heavy metals are a very homogeneous group of elements which greatly differ in their chemical properties and biological functions. An example of a heavy metal is copper.
Heavy metal availability induces an ion stress in Ginseng plants clearly distinct from salt stress. An excess of these metal ions or metal chelates may induce a series of biochemical and physiological alterations in plants. These alterations could be;
(a) membrane damage
(b) alteration of enzyme activities
(c) and the inhibition of root growth.
The secondary effects of heavy metal toxicity are such as disturbance of hormone balance, deficiency of essential nutrients inhibition of photosynthesis, change in photoassimilate translocation, and alteration of water relation.
In studies on metal toxicity and fertilization in Ginseng plants, K Laboratories' Intensive Crop Monitoring Program will help to identify and eliminate soil problems related to ginseng culture.
Nitrogen is another nutrient which occurs in soils and sediments. Nitrogen usually is found in the form of a complex organic substance, ammonia, molecular nitro gen, nitrite and nitrate. Nitrogen is often monitored due to its variable nature. Due to fluctuations in soil moisture and temperature, nitrogen loss can take place through leaching volatilization of ammonia or denitrification. The K Laboratories Crop Monitoring Program can determine if adequate levels of plant nutrient are present at critical growth periods. The program helps growers decide when and how much fertilizer nutrient is needed to maximize yield. There are 14 different elements that are involved in the K Laboratories Crop Monitoring Program. Quite often a complete tissue analysis can detect a nutrient deficiency before symptoms appear in the plant. Sulfur, boron, and molybdenum deficiencies are especially hard to recognize visually. Diagnosis of "hidden hunger" is often corrected by observing the tissue during the Crop Monitoring Program. It is observed that once symptoms of nutrient deficiency appears, it is usually too late to avoid production loss.
K Laboratories offers a Crop Monitoring Program for all crops, including Ginseng, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cranberry, Black Walnut tree and other high value crops. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact K Laboratories' Agronomist and Soil Scientist. Our Agronomists are certified by many professional organizations including the American Society of Professional Agricultural Consultants.
The K Laboratories Ginseng Intensive Crop Monitoring Program provides growers with another management input which can be utilized in adjusting fertilization both during the active growing season and for the following years crop.
Proper balanced fertilization on ginseng gardens is very important for the following years crop. Complete and balanced fertilization depends on factors such as fertilizer sources, fertilizer time, soil, moisture, temperature conditions, fungicide program, and soil type. Loss of nitrogen is serious in sandy soils. There are special nutrient interactions between several elements in soil such as Phosphorus, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Boron, Iron, Manganese, Sodium, and Molybdenum. It is important to understand their relationship in soil before making fertilizer recommendations.
GINSENG LEAF ANALYSIS-A PERFECT DIAGNOSTIC TOOL:
A normal healthy plant requires 16 elements for normal vegetative growth, root development and plant reproduction. Plant growth will be restricted if too much of one or more elements are present including non-essential elements such as arsenic, alumi num, selenium and sodium.
The most important factor that should be remembered when
sampling a field is that the sample should be representative.
In most cases, single samples should be avoided and a composite
sample from a one acre field should be used. In some cases,
when visual variability is obvious within an even smaller field,
each area should be sampled separately so the fertilizer recommendations
can be given.
SAMPLING GINSENG LEAVES FOR NUTRIENT ANALYSIS:
In order for plant analysis to be effective, considerable care must be given to collecting, preparing and sending plant tissue to the laboratory for analysis.
The Mailing Envelope:
K Laboratories International, Inc. provides mailing envelopes and forms for submitting tissue samples. Instructions should be followed and the questionnaire should be filled out completely. The questionnaire is an important communication between the grower and the laboratory. Failure to supply all the information requested may limit full interpretation of an analysis.
The Sampling Area:
Randomly select 20-35 ginseng leaves, from 2, 3, 4 years old ginseng plants, per sample area. When a nutrient deficiency is suspected or abnormal growth is present, it is recommended that two samples be collected for analysis. A sample should be taken from the affected area and from the adjacent normal area. A separate mailing bog will be needed for each sample.
Sample Collection - Collect Leaf Samples in June & July or August:
Collect the leaves in, K Laboratories plant tissue bags. Dusty or soil covered leaves or plants should be avoided. If the leaves have a slight dust cover, brush gently with a soft brush or perform a "quick rinse" with distilled water. Do not prolong quick rinse or use a soap solution as nutrient elements will be leached out of the tissue. Do not include damaged, diseased or dead tissue of leaves or roots in your sample, if you want these samples analyzed, send them in a separate bag.
What to Sample From a Ginseng Field
Good results require sampling a definite plant part. Take 20-35 stem with leaves. You must specify the plant part, age of plant, number of plants samples that were collected. This will insure that a sufficient amount of leaf materials are submitted.
Sampling Soil When Collecting Tissue:
For diagnostic use, a good representative soil sample should be collected when problem areas exist in the field. Take one sample from the effected area and one sample from the adjacent normal area just as you would with the plant tissue. Take cores of sub samples adjacent to plants that are selected for tissue sampling. This help to study the nutritional uptake of the plant from the soil.
Care and Handling of Tissue Samples:
The paper bags supplied by K Laboratories International, Inc. are ideal for collecting, drying and mailing samples. Drop leaves into the open bag. Allow the leaves to remain loose for air drying for 48 hrs. and mail it immediately to K Laboratories International, Inc.. When the tissue is about as dry as cured hay, the sample is ready for mailing.
We will provide you with test results along with
recommendations which will help you diagnose problem areas and
evaluate fertility practices within your field.
SOIL SAMPLING AND HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS:
Sampling of the soil for evaluation is extremely important for new ground, 1, 2, 3, and 4 year old fields. We have developed a complete dry and liquid fertilizer recommendation program for each year of Ginseng growth.
To obtain a representative sample from a field, a large number of cores or sub samples must be taken. For most 1 acre field, each composite sample should consist of a minimum of 25-30 cores.
If information is desired about specific spots or areas
in a field, a composite sample must be taken from that area.
The number of cores to take per composite sample however, does
not relate to the size of the area sampled but is related to the
variability. The more variable an area is, the more cores
will be needed to get a good representative sample. Mark
each bag with a sample number. Then prepare a map of the
area sampled, noting sample number on the map so you will remember
the area from which the sample came from when the results are
Frequency of Sampling (Spring and Fall Soil is a Must):
The frequency of sampling from a field is related to the amount of change that takes place. We recommend a fall soil sampling to correct phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and sulfur levels in the field and spring soil testing is very important for the balance of soil fertility levels for optimum plant growth.
Sandy soils, low in organic matter, have little resistance (buffer) to change. In order to obtain better growth, heavy application of fertilizers especially those containing high Nitrogen content, may change lighter textured soil within a short period of time. Such soils should be tested in the fall and spring in order to monitor changes and to avoid nutrient imbalances.
Remember soil analysis is a source of information to guide you to the proper use of fertilizers and other soil amendment practices. It is far better to take samples more frequently than to error by waiting too long to obtain the information.
There are several types of sampling tools; shovel, tile, spade, prove and an auger that all can be used . However, tile spades work best in new fields and soil probes are easiest to work with in established fields. The prove works rapidly and takes uniform size cores which is very important in taking composite soil samples. A clean bucket (preferably plastic) is useful for collecting and mixing sub samples. A back-pack may be used for carrying composite samples. A K Laboratories quart size heavy-wall plastic coated sample bag comes with a wire tab for sealing. These bags prevent contamination with other composite samples, etc. during transport until samples can be air dried. Water proof felt-tip pens should be used to label these bags.
How to Take Correct Sub Samples From a Field:
When using a probe or an auger, the most important factor to remember is to insert the tool to the same depth for each sample. When using a shovel or a spade, the following steps are recommended: (1) Make a vertical cut 6-9 inches deep and discard. (2) Make a second cut 1-3 inches behind the first to obtain the sample. (3) Slice a band of soil 1 to 3 inches wide with a knife and place it in a plastic bucket. (4) Discard any hard rock fragments larger than 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter. It is important that each sub sample contribute about the same amount of material to the composite sample. Be consistent with dimensions of each slice.
Preparation of a Composite Soil Sample From A Field:
The sampling sites should be chosen in a random or a zig-zag pattern in an acre field. When all 20-30 sub samples have been added to the plastic bucket, stir them thoroughly by stirring. About half pound of the composite sample should be transferred to a K Laboratories soil bag. Properly identify the age of the field (because fertilizer recommendations for fields vary depending on the age of the tree) and label each sample. Send the sample to K Laboratories.
CROP MONITORING RESULTS AND TURN AROUND TIME:
Results and recommendations for samples analyzed under the K Laboratories Crop Monitoring Program will be reported by fax or some times by telephone within 2-3 days of receipt of the sample. A report will be mailed to you the following day. We like to stay in touch during the growing season for any possible changes in the fertilizer program that may be needed due to a change in the weather.
BENEFITS OF THE K Ag PROGRAM:
Benefits of the K Labs Crop Monitoring Program are numerous. The bottom line is that it enables the grower to increase root production and maximize profits in the following ways:
1. Provide soil and foliar fertilizer recommendations when needed.
2. Help the grower to understand their soil fertility level during the growing season.
3. Help growers to apply the needed amount of fertilizer.
4. Help growers to keep tract of all essential nutrients within an optimum range during the growing season.
5. Help avoid excessive aluminum and manganese levels during the season.
6. Potassium is not stable in Ginseng acid soils because of the acid nature of the soil. The K Labs Monitoring Program helps to monitor potassium levels at various stages of growth and indicates is necessary when application of Potassium.
7. The K Labs Monitoring Program will help you minimize fertilizer loss, reduce environment pollution, balance root/shoot ratios of nitrogen and above all minimize nitrogen and potassium loss by providing optimum times for fertilizer application. Not only will you maximize efficiency of fertilizer use, you will be maximizing your chance of obtaining optimum yield.
8. Above all it gives growers peace of mind that plants are well fed and have no nutrient deficiencies.
9. Helps growers to determine, in case of poor production, that plant nutrients were not the cause of poor yield since each and every nutrient were monitored and applied as needed.
10. References are available from growers who have used or are using the K Labs Monitoring Program.
Let our Laboratory take care of your plant nutrient needs and we won't disappoint you. Call K Laboratories toll free number 1-800-356-6045 (out of state growers) and (920)426-2220/2222 for Wisconsin growers.
HOW TO ENROLL IN K Ag LABORATORIES INTENSIVE CROP MONITORING PROGRAM:
1. Fill out our contract registration forms. K Labs will send you all the necessary sampling materials for the whole year. K Laboratories has tested thousands of soil and leaf samples every year. We have special soil and plant bags, available upon request.
2. If you are not in the K Labs program and have not tested your field with K Laboratories International, Inc., take soil samples immediately and send to K Laboratories. Our recommendations will be based on this soil test to start the program.
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