November 2015

Soil salinization can be avoided

How to control soil fertility yourself

The salinity is determined by the concentration of total dissolved salts. In water and/or suspensions, those salts are completely free and mobile and can be measured by means of a conductivity (EC) measurement. In soils, peat or other greenhouse media, however, the salts are not totally dissolved. Their mobility depends on

Soil moisture Soil temperature Soil compaction
These factors determine the quantity of salts being "active" and available to the plants. As the plant nutrients, like nitrate, potassium, etc., are salt ions, the measurement of "active" salt ions gives an immediate information about the plant nutrition status.
The measuring principle of "activity" has been developed by Prof. Dr. Tepe, a former director of the Research Institute for Soil Science and Plant Nutrition Geisenheim, Germany. Since then this method has been applied as an easy, fast and reliable control of plant nutrition.
Digital root of your plant
Unique features of the AM-electrode:
  • sensitive to the main characteristics of the soil, such as temperature, moisture and compaction
  • gives precise overview of the individual root nutrition status on each plant
With the AM-electrode you can:
  • make a precise soil analysis in a few seconds
  • quickly make a decision on the use of fertilizers with the help of standard AM-values table (see below)
  • save money on fertilizers
STEP Systems has developed and designed testing equipment with a special AM-electrode, which enables you to carry out soil salinity measurements directly in the root zone.
PNT 3000
Digital direct measurement
of soil salinity

The PNT 3000 means the latest step of development of all activity meters. The production is based on modern SMD-technology which is considered to be much more reliable and temperature-resistant than the conventional wire technology.
The rugged housing is waterproof and field-ready - the operation of the instrument is convenient and simple. 
Only one button makes the full operation of the PNT 3000 possible. The instrument is checked and calibrated before leaving the factory - a re-calibration is not necessary.
The probes are made of stainless steel and a special maintenance or storage of the equipment is not required.

Table of standard AM values

Vegetables AM value   Plants AM value
Asparagus 0.3 – 0.4   Adiantum 0.2 – 0.3
Beans 0.3 – 0.5   Anthurium andreanum 0.3 – 0.4
Beetroot 0.3 – 0.5   Begonia elatior 0.3 – 0.5
Kohlrabi 0.3 – 0.6   Bromelien 0.2 – 0.4
Bush beans 0.3 – 0.5   Buxus sempervierens 0.2 – 0.4
Cabbage 0.3 – 0.5   Calluna vulgaris 0.1 – 0.3
Carrot 0.3 – 0.4   Camelia japonica 0.3 – 0.5
Oats 0.2 – 0.4   Chriysanthemum indica 0.5 – 0.8
Cucumber 0.4 – 0.7   Erica gracilis 0.3 – 0.4
lettuce 0.3 – 0.5   Gerbera jamesonii 0.4 – 0.6
Onion 0.2 – 0.4   Hydrangea blu 0.3 – 0.6
Paprika 0.2 – 0.5   Impatiens 0.4 – 0.6
Pieplant 0.3 – 0.6   Lilium hybriden 0.3 – 0.5
Potato 0.2 – 0.5   Orchideen epiphyt. 0.2 – 0.3
Radish 0.3 – 0.5   Petunia hybrida 0.3 – 0.5
Spinach 0.2 – 0.4   Philodendron 0.4 – 0.6
Parsley 0.2 – 0.4   Primula vulg./acaulis 0.3 – 0.4
Sugar pea 0.2 – 0.3   Rhododendron japanische 0.2 – 0.4
Sweet corn 0.3 – 0.5   Rose multiflora 0.1 – 0.3
Tomato 0.4 – 0.7   Saintpaulia ionantha 0.1 – 0.3
Wheat 0.2 – 0.4   Thuja occid. columna 0.2 – 0.3

*the lower limit indicates that plants need fertilizer, the top limit indicates that plants should be watered without any fertilizer
Instuments for precise and effective soil and water management:

PNT 3000 Combi+

The PNT 3000 Combi+ brings together two important functions: the salinity measurement directly in soils and substrates (activity), as well as the EC measurement in solutions and suspensions.

Item-No.: 10400
Learn more →

PNT 3000 + pH 3000
A combination set including PNT 3000 and рН 3000. The ideal combination for production, consultants and service in all fields of horticulture without application of liquid fertilization.

Item-No.: 10500
Learn more →

PNT 3000 Combi+
+ pH 3000

A combination set including PNT 3000 Comi+ and рН 3000. This combination features the most complete, multi-purpose combination of all combined sets.
Item-No: 10700

Learn more →

   Around the world   


Information Visit from China

Peifu Jiang und Xiadong Gou, who plan to build an approx. 30 ha greenhouse facility for tomatoes and cucumbers in the North of Beijing, came first in contact with the German manufacturers over the company Biopute Co. - a Chinese partner of STEP Systems, during the Hortiflorexpo IPM Shanghai. Harald Braungardt, CEO of STEP Systems and an executive committee member of INDEGA, organized a special visitor program for the small Chinese delegation, in order to make clear once again that the horticultural research in Germany is making a very good job, especially with regard to the efficient energy use.

Very impressive for Chinese eyes were the highly advanced automation at Scherzer, both in production and in the packaging and labeling. The production manager Julia Neber introduced the company to the guests in a very competent way. 
For the second day in Bavaria, the program included a visit to Rudolf Rinder at the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture at the Institute of Agronomy. The Chinese guests were very impressed by the competent advice, especially about lighting.

The tour ended with the visit of the ZINEG-house at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Prof. Dr. Uwe Schmidt informed very extensively about the alternative energy supply of the greenhouse and the reference house. Showing the other experimental greenhouses, he reported on interesting results of the practical tests, which the Chinese guests appreciated with much attention. 

ZINEG-house in Berlin with Prof. Dr. Schmidt und Prof. Dr. Diezemann

STEP Systems GmbH
Duisburger Str. 44
90451 Nuremberg


Tel.: (49-911) 96 26 05 0
Fax: (49-911) 96 26 05 9
👉 Stay tuned for more useful information about our measurement technology
Sign up for our newsletter