Improving nitrogen use efficiency is important for the potato crop, because of its relatively low ability to take up available soil mineral nitrogen (N). Splitting of N fertilizer application is a suitable approach to better match N need and supply. In-season crop N monitoring methods are therefore required to support such strategies. This paper deals with the state of the art and potential development of characteristics, use and implementation of well known and more recent methods aimed to assess in-season potato Crop Nitrogen Status (CNS). A short overview of this concept is given for the potato crop. The most important and available methods for CNS assessment are evaluated for their accuracy, precision, sensitivity, sensibility and feasibility. These are: the petiole sap nitrate concentration test; the leaf chlorophyll concentration measurement using a hand-held chlorophyll meter; the measurement of crop light reflectance through a hand-held radiometer using passive sensors. More recent methods still under investigation based on near, ground-based, air-borne or space-borne remote sensing are discussed for their scientific and practical interest in the near future. The current and potential use and implementation of these methods into decision support systems for potato N fertilization management aimed at improving the potato crop nitrogen use efficiency are analysed by: comparing relative and raw data; establishing threshold values of CNS; and combining or integrating the CNS values into models dedicated to N recommendation or to crop growth simulation.
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