Submitted to: Fluid Fertilizer Foundation Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2001
Publication Date: February 20, 2001
Citation: KOVAR, J.L. ROOTS IN PLANT NUTRITION RESEARCH: AN OVERVIEW. FLUID FERTILIZER FOUNDATION SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS. 2001. V. 18. P. 25.
A significant amount of production capital and labor, including tillage, fertilization, and irrigation, are expended in an effort to provide an environment conducive to the growth of crop plant roots. Due to the complexity of the plant-soil system, however, much of the research addressing fertilizer responses by crop plants has taken somewhat of a "black box" approach - crop responses to several increments of a soil amendment are measured. This approach is not without merit in that fertilizer recommendations have been developed for a range of crops, grown under varying climatic conditions on many types of soil. With the advent of prescription application of nutrients and the potential to use biotechnology to engineer efficient root systems, however, research efforts directed toward the "hidden half" of the crop are now more important than ever. The purpose of this presentation is: 1) to provide a brief overview of environmental factors affecting root growth and development; 2) to review recent research addressing the relationship of root growth to nutrient availability and uptake; and 3) to discuss the implications of nutrient management.