Plants are living organisms, but they can’t talk. Therefore, we can’t find out what they need for proper growth.
It is especially relevant for cultivated plants, since people have been growing them as food, spending a lot of resources, the equivalent of which may be conventionally measured by the amount of money spent on growing a particular product. Besides, each completed production stage should bring profit, otherwise, the society will go bankrupt, and people will starve.
You would say, “This is too complicated and serious.” Certainly, it is. The work of an agronomist is a kind of acrobatics, only performed not in the sky, but on the ground. If you want to get an outstanding outcome while growing plants, you have to know what your plant needs for proper growing.
Centuries-old horticulture expertise has proven that plants need five crucial factors to support their living: light, warm environment, water, air, and nutrients.
It is necessary to determine how much of these components each individual plant species and even variety require. And only upon that you will be able to create its cultivation flowchart and expect the highest possible yield.
But there is one thing. If a plant grows in the open ground, you will have little chance to protect it from the impact of natural disasters. This impact may cause STRESS in a plant – that is, a reaction to unusual or unfavourable factors.
This may be a temperature (too high or too low), the amount of precipitation (too much or too little), a hurricane, storm, icy conditions, and so on.
First of all, stress affects the appearance of the plant.
The first signs may occur immediately after exposure to adverse conditions (primary stress) and after a certain period of time (secondary or delayed stress).
A plant being exposed to stressful conditions suffers from a hormonal failure, which leads to reverse or irreversible processes. It may result in losing the entire crop or part of it; a plant may die at once or some time later, or it may recover, continue to grow and yield.
There was a case in my practice when peach trees, on which all the fruits had been left to ripen, withered the next year after producing a record harvest due to the lack of water; as for trees that had been growing nearby, but on which only a part of the fruits was left to ripen, they survived and are still growing and bearing fruit.
This example demonstrates a case of secondary or delayed stress and shows that some techniques applied are able to prevent or mitigate the impact of stress in plant organisms.
In this case, I made a mistake as an agronomist, as I had not watered my orchards in the autumn, although I could do it. We had a Droppity Agro Field Sensor, whose readings on moisture in the one meter soil layer in the autumn indicated its insufficient amount. But we ignored them, expecting rain and snow weather in autumn and winter that would supply the soil with required moisture.
A negative result had brought a benefit, too, as we had gained experience that spoke for the need for mandatory control of the load of tree fruits and performing all technological operations in the most appropriate time (in this case, it was about watering). Otherwise, losses in yield would be inevitable.
To find out the environment temperature, we take advantage of the weather forecast provided by the Droppity Agro app. We know that treating plants with pesticides is possible only within a certain temperature range. This app also provides a forecast of risks of frost and other stressful situations.
It has another important function – recommendations on performing various technological operations such as treating plants with pesticides on certain days and within a certain period of time. This app is handy and helpful.
Another advantage of Droppity Agro Web is the availability of a weather data archive. In the autumn and winter period, when there is much more spare time for analysing the outcome obtained and further planning, this data turns out to be very helpful.
Recently, the Droppity Team added the Notes feature to the app. I upload photos of my trees and attach brief opinions about their condition at the time of examination.
About the author:
PhD in Agriculture, 30+ years of experience in agronomy, co-owner of the family farm "Lan" in Ukraine (100 hectares/247 acres of farming land in total, 7 hectares/17 acres of peach orchards).