Growing interest in American Kinsey-Albrecht soil analysis RE SEARCH I n the Dutch potato cultivation sector, there has been an increasing focus in recent years on measures to improve soil fertility. A reliable soil analysis is an important starting point for this. After all, you can only improve when you know what your situation is, as the saying goes. The majority of potato growers have soil analyses carried out by laboratories such as that of Eurofins Agro in Wageningen. An ever-increasing group, which includes a research institute such as Wageningen University & Research located at Westmaas, has had part of its soil samples taken and assessed by the American Kinsey Agricultural Services in recent years via the Dutch company N-xt Soil Services in Dronten. This company carries out the soil sampling, sends the samples to the Perry Agricultural Laboratory in the Unites States (USA) and subsequently has the raw data digitally returned. Thanks to years of training at Neal Kinsey in the US, N-xt Soil Services is now able to convert this raw data into practical advice and recommendations for Dutch farmers. In doing so, it explicitly focuses on the most effective products available on the Dutch market. states were confronted much earlier with the consequences of their excessive and/ or ill-considered use. As Europe and other parts of the world also started to see the negative aspects of this approach, the soil analysis of Kinsey-Albrecht came ‘The more Seats that are occupied with the H+, cation, the more acidic the soil, the lower the pH’ Deviant soil theory Kinsey Agricultural Services, founded in 1973 by Neal Kinsey, is a company specialising in analyses that potentially improve soil fertility. Kinsey trained as an agronomist at the University of Missouri/Columbia and graduated under microbiologist and soil scientist Professor William Albrecht. This professor was known then – and well before the Second World War – for his pioneering research into the biological fixation of nitrogen and the important role of calcium in this process. He also carried out studies in which he demonstrated the importance of soil fertility for the health of people and animals. Albrecht’s soil theory enhances the natural productivity of the soil and is based on the ideal balance between cations (positively charged atoms) and the clay-humus complex in the soil and how cation ratios influence the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil. Albrecht often deviated from the existing soil theory by distinguishing between directly-soluble nutrients and nutrients adsorbed onto humus and clay. Kinsey has applied Albrecht’s soil theory for almost 50 years in a wide range of soils, climates and crops and has refined it further. This is how the Kinsey-Albrecht soil analysis as we know it today came into being. Key role for calcium ‘Over the years, we’ve built up a customer base of potato growers who, thanks to the use of our fertilisers, are seeing improvements in soil structure, yield and quality’, explains Marco van Gurp. In the United States, the Kinsey-Albrecht soil analysis quickly gained popularity. Initially with organic growers, but not much later also with conventional growers. ‘While, in Europe, fertilisers and chemical plant protection products were still on the rise, growers in some US into the picture here, too’, says Commercial Director Marco van Gurp of N-xt Soil Services. ‘For many years now we’ve been supplying special soil and foliar fertilisers under the N-xt Fertilizers name, which stimulate the growth, development, production and resilience of the crop and support soil fertility. This also applies to the potato. Over the years, we’ve built up a customer base of potato growers who, thanks to the use of our fertilisers, are seeing improvements in soil structure, yield and quality. This is based on many years of knowledge and experience about soil and crops, including the potato. At first we couldn’t figure out how the N-xt fertilisers influence soil fertility. Until we came into contact with Neal Kinsey and his analysis method in 2014. We soon realised during a meeting with Kinsey in England that he had exactly the research method we were looking for. The KinseyAlbrecht soil analysis basically assumes that you activate the soil biology best when you have the chemical and physical aspects of the soil under control. Calcium plays a key role in this. It’s not for nothing that William Albrecht described it as the King of Nutrients’, explains the soil and fertiliser specialist. Preference for complex compounds According to Van Gurp, the fact that the soils experts mentioned come from America does not imply that the soil analysis they developed is not usable on Dutch agricultural soils. Albrecht and Kinsey have worked very closely with European scientists and have also carried out research on European soils. ‘This can be seen, among other things, in the 26 Potato World 2020 • number 2 Pagina 25

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