Whether you are a fertilizer producer or a farmer, it is important to find an edge for your business – something that gets you ahead of the competitive scene – such as a nutrient absorption curve, which can help to optimize crop growing activities.

Currently, fertigation allows producers to apply nutrients directly to the roots of plants using technical systems such as drip and sprinkle irrigation1,2. Such techniques allow for the control of fertilizer concentration, depending upon the demands of the crop in each phenological3 status.

This process relies on knowing what amount of nutrients the crop needs at any given stage – making the determination of the nutrient absorption curve absolutely crucial. SGS in Peru has developed a nutrient absorption curve service to address this requirement: our fertility management and irrigation experts can analyze plant tissue samples and reveal the nutrient absorption data.

Expert Support

The first sampling is carried out by our experts, alongside the client, who then undertakes to provide any additional samples required. Samples can derive from a single plot and/or crop, or several, and can be taken at different stages, including phenological. Back at the lab experts analyze the plant tissue, taking into account the climatic conditions if required, and plot the absorption curve.

This new service can help farmers to minimize the guesswork involved in fertilization programs and to achieve the ideal balance between extraction and what’s applied. A deficiency (or negative balance) means there will be problems with the harvest; an excess (a positive balance) will probably mean a financial loss. So, if used correctly, the absorption data can help to minimize fertilizer wastage while maximizing distribution efficiency during the cropping cycle.

Environmentally Friendly Applications

Using the absorption curve in combination with other laboratory services means you are able to perform more precise, and more environmentally-friendly, fertility programs. Asparagus, peppers and sugar cane growers are currently taking advantage of the techniques, and the intention is to develop the system for farmers of other annual crops.

With one of South America’s most modern, ISO 9001 certified laboratories across the main agricultural production areas of Peru, SGS can support both the country’s producers and farmers and advise clients further afield. In fact, SGS nutrient absorption curves are already in use globally. The curves are used to assess plant tissue analysis on crops in the Mediterranean region (Portugal, Spain, Morocco and Tunisia) and in Canada they help farmers better understand the nutrient requirements for crops grown in greenhouses4.

For more details about the SGS nutrient absorption curve service, please contact:

Alfonso Chavarri
Seed and Crop Manager
SGS Peru

For other countries, please contact:

Jorge Bazo
Global Business Development – Fertigation/Water Management Service


1 Drip irrigation: is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants.
2 Sprinkle irrigation: A method of providing water to plants by pipelines which carry water under pressure from a pump or elevated source to lines, with sprinkler heads spaced at appropriate intervals.
3 Phenology: The scientific study of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, breeding.
4 Greenhouses: A structure, primarily of glass or sheets of clear plastic, in which temperature and humidity can be controlled for the cultivation or protection of plants.

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.