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Nmin method

Nmin method (GB)
Method for determining the mineral nitrogen content of the soil available to plants. This is called Nmin (in contrast to organically bound nitrogen Norg). The organically bound nitrogen is not yet available to plants and is only gradually converted into nitrogen available to plants by microorganisms in the course of the vegetation period. However, nitrogen is already required at the beginning of vegetation. With the classic Nmin method, the amount of nitrogen present in the root zone in the form of ammonium and nitrates is determined at the beginning of vegetation up to a depth of 90 centimetres in three layers of 30 centimetres each. The target value describes the amount that must be present in the intensively rootable soil profile at the start of vegetation and that fertilisation is not required. It is still controversial and is about 80 to 100 kilograms Nmin/ha. If there is a deficit, mineral (i.e. not organic) fertilization must be applied. The classical method is based on the determination of target values in field trials and requires a high level of testing and calibration. Therefore, the modified Nmin method is increasingly used. It is mainly based on estimated values and is much easier to perform. See also under EUF method.

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