Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Test That SAP!

ClayAllOver or Mike as I know him linked a very good hour video to watch on plant sap testing.  I call it the SAP Test.  These fellows at Nova Crop Control in the Netherlands have developed a plant sap test that goes way beyond the simple Brix test you and I can do with a spectrometer.  I will never forget using Chris's hand held spectrometer on his farm in New Zealand in January and finding a Brix of 16 in his mother's plum fruit and only 6-7 in his corn.  Too much corn in the United States won't test above 7 and very little tests 10.

Brix is a measure of sugars.  When measured in plant sap, it is an indication of overall health, fertility and environmental conditions.  This Ohioline Bulletin on vegetables is a good read to get acquainted with brix levels in crops.  I had gotten interested in Brix levels in crops some years ago but put it aside as yields increased.  The Farm to Plate conference in Iowa in December got me interested after Joan's pronounced Johanne, presentation there.  The video is a good review of what attendees heard.

Every sample that has been analyzed are pretty much what I posted.  We tend to over nitrate every crop and under feed the other 16 nutrients or elements.  C, H, O are the foundation blocks and too many soils are deficient in Carbon and saturated or deficient in H2O most of the time.  How can we get the corn to test and respond like the plum I tested?

Every plan we make and every thing we do affects that Brix level which affects plant quality greatly and final yield.  Mike noted where he found soybean aphids, the soybeans were too high in nitrate.  They are probably low in some other elements, too.

We are pushing Jeff and George to get set up to do the same test in Minnesota.  They are so busy with glyphosate right now, I don't think they have the needed time to dedicate to it at this moment.  It will come though, knowing those two.

Until then, air freight your package of samples to
NovaCropControl
Magazijnweg 17-02
5071 NW Udenhout
The Netherlands
Joan Timmermans
Telephone: 0031 683220623
E-mail: j.timmermans@novacropcontrol.nl

Label, crop, stage of growth and date of sampling.

Let's discover how to grow crops more efficiently!

Sincerely,

Ed Winkle

3 comments:

  1. From now on, I'm only going to mention my Brix levels instead of cholesterol, sounds much less offensive!

    So if it's just the sugar from the sap, I guess it does not represent the whole plant's sugar content, like the cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin from the fibrous cells. I wonder if an analysis of those would also show an increase of these types of sugar when using chemical fertilizers, and maybe a corresponding decrease of lignin, which insures a good stand of plants after rain, wind or hail. Just wondering if this has been studied too.

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  2. I would think it has but the sugar content seemed to be the same no matter where I tested the sap from the plant. I am sure the Nova people can answer that.

    This has been around a long time, just never caught on. If the sap test catches on like I think it should, farmers will be sharing Brix levels instead of cholesterol.

    Ed

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