Plant SAP analysis is fast becoming a powerful management tool for monitoring crop nutrition and maximising yields.
What is it, and how is it different?
Plant SAP testing can provide more dynamic crop data than what can be gained through soil testing or plant tissue testing alone. The biggest difference between SAP analysis and tissue testing is that the SAP analysis measures what the plant has absorbed from the soil but has yet to metabolise, indicating the plant’s current access to nutrition.
It’s a comprehensive snapshot of nutrient analysis of what the plant has experienced recently and what needs to be adjusted or remedied for optimal health. In contrast, the tissue test only shows the plant’s total nutrient uptake, so it doesn’t indicate current deficiencies.
Get results quicker:
The SAP analysis is also much faster in terms of getting the results. During different crop growth stages nutrient requirements vary significantly.
SAP results provide information on the plant’s nutrition at the time of sampling that can be used to facilitate an exact application of required nutrients to maximise input efficiency as well as yield.
The SAP analysis also has the ability to detect deficiencies three to six weeks earlier than what a conventional tissue test would show. The SAP analysis allows detection before visual symptoms appear and prevents consequential yield loss. Normal values are available for most crop types, which can be used as a comparison for different crop growth stages, allowing continuous monitoring throughout the growth cycle.
The use of this testing provides knowledge of exact plant requirements, so it can prevent over-fertilisation, increase farmer sustainability and reduce costs.
Prevents consequential yield loss through detection before visual symptoms of deficiencies appear.
Maximises input efficiency as well as yields by helping facilitate the exact application of required nutrients.
Plus, it improves disease resistance due to being able to provide the plant with optimal nutrition.
A SAP analysis includes data on ammonium and nitrate nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, sodium, boron, zinc, manganese, iron, aluminium, silicon, and copper. All of these are essential to plant growth.
It also shows SAP acidity, N ratio and brix.
SAP brix data provides a valuable insight into the ability of the plant to produce carbohydrates, specifically sucrose. Sucrose (the primary product of photosynthesis) is a critical source of energy and energy transport in plants, and is essential for maintenance and growth.
Brix, therefore, indicates the plant’s sucrose reserves, where a higher reading would indicate that the plant is better equipped to tolerate drought-induced stress and frost damage.
Sucrose levels get regulated by the plant’s access to the nutrients phosphate, potassium, sulphur, magnesium, boron, and zinc, so knowledge of these levels is a powerful management tool.
The combination of SAP analysis and brix analysis allows the monitoring and management of sucrose production and nutrient availability throughout the growing season.
Interested? Get in touch with one of our agronomists to get a SAP test done on one of your crops today.