Not all water sources are the same

18 May 2020

Rainwater can be used as irrigation water but it is  often not available in adequate amounts. When rainwater runs out, switching to a different water source is normal practice. In many cases this water contains more sodium, iron and other elements compared to pure rainwater. That calls for an adjustment of fertilization schemes.

Large areas of the world are increasingly confronted with water shortages This makes having sufficient good irrigation water a challenge. When switching from one water source to another, e.g. from rainwater to surface water or well water, it is important to check the quality of the water. In particular, sodium and iron levels require attention. In many cases, fertilization schemes should  be adjusted. For soil-bound crops, a sodium content of 0.5 mmol/L should be maintained. This can be higher for crops that are less sensitive to salt.

Water analysis

Eurofins Agro's  water analysis provides insight into water quality. It measures the pH, EC, NH₄, K, Na, Ca, Mg, NO₃, Cl, S, HCO₃, P, Fe, Mn, Zn, B, Cu, Mo, Si and the total and temporary hardness. In spring water, in addition to measuring soluble iron, the total iron content (Fe-total) can also be measured. Eurofins Agro can also state the thresholds of the various elements in the analysis reports and thus show whether the water is suitable for your crop. Based on this analysis, the nutrient solution can be optimised.

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