Growing interest in American Kinsey-Albrecht soil analysis RE SEARCH MARCEL TRAMPER WUR: ‘WE SEE THE SOIL IMPROVING YEAR AFTER YEAR’ here but if it doesn’t work out, that’s just the result of a paid trial. If it fails on a farm, the farmer pays the full costs.’ Calcium percentage still too high One of the locations in the Netherlands where the Kinsey-Albrecht working method has been trialled and put into practice is the Puntje Dijk 1-hectare trial plot at the Westmaas Experimental Farm of Wageningen University. One of the locations in the Netherlands where the KinseyAlbrecht working method in combination with the use of the N-xt fertilisers, has been trialled and put into practice is the Puntje Dijk 1-hectare trial plot at the Westmaas Experimental Farm of Wageningen University. Location manager Marcel Tramper has so far been very enthusiastic about the results on the hectare of land. ‘We see the soil improving year by year as well as the yields, quality and health of the crops. It’s important, though, to be patient when implementing the method. You only notice the first positive results after a few years of consistent application. That makes sense, because you can’t achieve the mineral contents, structure and soil at the levels recommended by Kinsey-Albrecht in one year. And, as a grower, you need to be confident of the process. We have the opportunity to trial When Tramper and Van Gurp go through the latest soil analysis report, it appears that, after two years of intensively following the advice of the Kinsey-Albrecht method, the calcium/magnesium ratio is actually shifting towards a more optimal value. This is already shown by the changing soil structure of the plot. Due to the heavier soil here in Westmaas (i.e. a large cinema) the mineral balance is not yet at the desired level. It’s a clay soil with a high calcium content that requires a calcium/magnesium ratio of 80/10. Due to the high calcium level of 88.3 percent, the magnesium level of 4.6 percent and potassium of 3.1 percent are too low. By working primarily on the magnesium content, we can structurally improve the soil. The plan is to grow ware potatoes on the Puntje Dijk trial plot in 2019. Following this, Potato World magazine, together with the trial location, will monitor the soil conditions, fertilisation, additional cultivation measures and the development of the potatoes at Puntje Dijk and issue a report this autumn. ‘We see the soil improving year by year as well as the yields, quality and health of the crops’, is location manager Marcel Tramper’s experience. Initially, you can only know this when you measure the percentage of all the cations. The conventional soil analyses often measure the size of the cinema (the CEC), but not the number of Seats and their total occupancy, or whether all the Seats seem occupied. This may well lead to other advisory measures.’ 68/12, the ideal calcium/magnesium ratio ‘Within the Kinsey-Albrecht analysis, we assume an ideal cation, or mineral ratio in the soil’, Van Gurp continues his explanation. ‘The (average) ration is then 68 percent calcium, 12 percent magnesium, 5 percent potassium, 1 percent sodium, 4 percent other bases and 10 percent hydrogen. This brings us to a total of 100 percent. If, for example, the percentage of hydrogen changes, the percentages of all other cations in the soil also change. And that indicates how much you should adjust the mineral leve ls. Pivotal to all this, step 1 in the Kinsey-Albrecht analysis, is the calcium/magnesium ratio. Ideally, it should be 68/12. The calcium/magnesium ratio has a direct influence on the air (oxygen)/water ratio in the soil, where a 68 percent/12 percent calcium magnesium ratio is the best for soil life and roots’, says Van Gurp. ‘If you increase the calcium content in the soil, the air-pore volume will increase, but the water-pore volume will decrease. With a higher percen tage of magnesium, the opposite happens. If you increase the water-pore volume, the air-pore volume decreases. The ratio between calcium and magnesium is therefore even more important than the mere concentration of these minerals in the soil. Correction of potassium and sodium occupancy rate ‘After step 1, you move on to step 2, the correction of the occupancy percentage 28 Potato World 2020 • number 2 Pagina 27

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