Micronutrients for Better Yields

Around the world, crop growth is limited by micronutrient deficiencies, having a negative effect on both food quality and food security. The use of micronutrient fertilisers is a feasible solution to overcome these problems, but requires more research before suitable fertiliser recommendation can be given.

This project focuses on Sub Saharan Africa, where micronutrients are known to limit crop growth. Before giving suitable fertiliser recommendations, soil information is needed. Measuring micronutrient bioavailability in soils is currently facing two challenges: (1) chemical analysis is expensive due to the need of very sensitive equipment and specialised technicians, or (2) results are not accurate. We use crop uptake of micronutrients as the measure for bioavailability and predict uptake based on a number of soil parameters. We can use this knowledge on micronutrient bioavailability to predict crop yields and to gain insights in spatial patterns of micronutrient bioavailability by using soil maps. We mainly focus on Zn, Cu and B.