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During this phase the crop's performance will gradually decline. This is often caused by the age of the plants and/or the length of their stems. Outside conditions may also contribute negatively to the declining performance. Under these conditions the crop's susceptibility to diseases may increase. However, growers will continue to aim at the highest possible production and quality. Timely investment in re-growth or reserves for the final production may help. The vitality and vigour during this phase often determine the overall result.

The crop's declining performance decreases root activity. The consequence is root necrosis and increasing susceptibility to root diseases. Healthy roots taking up enough nutrition remain important to product quality. By adjusting water management root quality can be preserved during this phase and also replace the nutrition in the substrate optimally, even when less water is to be applied. A point of special interest is that the substrate should continue draining out well at the end of the cultivation, so that the required result can be achieved with the advised water management. 


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