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Feeding the plant keeping in mind the nutrient supply from soil. In annual field crops , soil test-crop response is best policy , while in fruit crops, leaf nutrients-crop response relationship hold the best premise.
With my limited knowledge on the plant biology, I would add my comment on this matter, which I believe to be helpful to refresh the knowledge on plant nutrients and soil management.
In order to receive more efficient crop production, a more effective nutrient cycling in the soil is compulsory. Because the cycling of nutrient in the soil maximize the biological activities, creating an ideal environment for soil microbes by feeding and growing them. Their byproducts then feed the crop. Hence, this could be considered as a cycle. However, an unnecessary feeding/loading of nutrients will also cause imbalance to the ecosystem and would be greatly affected on the crop production.
The majority of fertilizer applied around the world is in the form of ammoniated nitrogen.
Eighty percent of our atmospshere is found in our air and can be made available to the plant and soil through legumes.
The biggest limitation of crop growth in water and not Nitrogen.
The use of legumes rotations and mix farming can increase the soil carbon addressing the biggest crop limitation with is water insufficiency.
If our agricultural system was soil focused the majority of issues are dealt with with the need to be dependent on synthetic inputs.
The Rodlae Institute Farming System Trial compared the fully ag input approach to mixed farming with emphasis on leguemes cover crops and only biologically based input.
The fully organic approach can not only lead to competitive yield but also have ability to improve the avoidance of drough disease and pests.
Feeding the plants means either through the fertirrigation or foliar way. that is generally done by the use of mineral fertilizers. Organic farming with application of organic manures manufactured in farmers farm would be effective for late season due to slow mineralization of nutrients from organic manures. So feeding through the soil will be helpful in organic farming to the farmers and others .