Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium and Their Role in Agricultural Crop Production
A sound understanding of how your alfalfa, soybean, or corn crop utilizes the elements is essential to achieve increased crop yields. In its natural form, most soils in the world are equipped with sufficient quantities of the elements essential for plant growth. In the world of agricultural crop production however, soils become depleted of these essential components and require biological soil amendments in order for crops to remain productive. In this article, we will focus on how nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three major elements necessary for growth, are used by your crop.
Nitrogen is an integral part of all proteins, and is one of the main chemical elements required for plant growth and photosynthesis. In most agricultural conditions, availability of usable Nitrogen is the most limiting factor of high growth. Your crop absorbs nitrogen by absorbing either ammonium or nitrate through it’s root system. The plant will then utilize Nitrogen as a building block to produce protein in the form of enzymes.
Nitrogen is a mobile element, meaning that your alfalfa plants will relocate nitrogen from older tissue to younger tissue when deficiencies occur. This is why older leaves on plants often show yellowing or other signs of nitrogen deficiency.
To ensure that your alfalfa, soybean, or corn crop is receiving the appropriate amount of nitrogen, look to combine your existing fertilizer regimen with biological soil amendments from Pro-Soil. Pro-soil agricultural products are designed to help you avoid overuse of nitrogen-rich fertilizers by freeing up unused elements that are locked within your soil. Remember, deficiencies often occur from overuse of fertilizers, which causes a nutrient lock-out in the soil. To learn more about Pro-Soil agricultural products and how to utilize gradual input reduction techniques to increase crop yield, click here.
Knowing how your alfalfa, soybean and corn fields use phosphorus is crucial for improving crop yields.
Phosphorus is vital for strong growth. In sufficient phosphorus in the soil will cause stunted, spindly crops. Phosphorus, when combined with water, breaks in to separate ions that can be absorbed by the plant’s root system. The plant uses phosphorus for photosynthesis and energy/nutrient transport.
The right amount of phosphorus can help crops yield more fruits and create healthier stocks and root systems, they may also mature much quicker than plants without phosphorus. Insufficient supply can cause green & purple discoloration, wilting, small fruits and flowers (if at all). When phosphorus is added to the crops when sowed, it can establish a strong root base and produce strong all through the growth season.
Ensuring adequate phosphorus nutrition in your soybean, alfalfa, or corn crops is fundamental for increased crop yield. biological soil amendments from Pro-Soil can combine with your current fertilizer treatments easily.
(For wheat crops: DO NOT mix PS-Foundation 1-0-1 with any high phosphorous fertilizer.)
Potassium, the third of three elements in healthy soil nutrition, can greatly increase crop yields. It aids in water absorption and retention, also encourages strong roots, sturdy stems, and healthy, full grown crops that have longer shelf life.
Potassium is in the soil naturally in two forms, one of the forms is able to be absorbed into the plant, while the other is unavailable to the plant. Many agricultural crops depend on abundant supply of potassium so they must rely on fertilizers and soil amendments to add to the potassium that’s in soil. Agricultural products that contain potassium are water soluable, allowing it to be absorbed by crops in through the nutrient rich soil.
Healthy plants use potassium in the cell system that uses water, the stomata. Potassium aids the plant in using water efficiently, preventing many diseases and heat damage. Potassium helps cycle nutrients through leaves, roots, and stems.