Primer on fertilizers and plant nutrition

A company that distributes various biostimulants that promote healthy plant growth has come up with a very useful primer about fertilizers and nutritional requirements of various crops.

The primer is titled “Complete Plant Nutrition With Stress Management Technology” published by Zetryl Chem Philippines headed by Danton B. Pajarillaga, president and general manager.

Topics include What Is Fertilizer?; Nutritional Requirements of Plants; Traditional/Macro/NPK – First Group; Micronutrients/Trace Elements – Second Group; What Is Soil pH?; Plant Stress – Biotic and Abiotic; The Plant Disease Triangle; and Fungi, Bacteria, Virus and Nematodes.

Contact Harold Larete at 0917 816-1909 for a free copy of this primer.

The topics are explained in very simple, understandable manner so the reader can easily
appreciate them. The texts are accompanied with color photos and illustrations for easier comprehension and appreciation.

The functions of the major fertilizer elements as well as the micronutrients are presented in both English and Tagalog. For instance, what happens when there is a deficiency of one trace element, is shown with an accompanying picture or illustration.

In the discussion of soil pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity), the ideal pH for each of most commonly grown crops is given. Then there is a graphic presentation on how a low soil pH can make fertilizers ineffective. For instance, if the soil pH is 4.5 which is extremely acidic, only 30% of the nitrogen applied will be absorbed. In the case of phosphorus, only 23% will be absorbed; and only 33% in the case of potassium. So it is very important to know the soil pH before applying
fertilizer. When the pH is 7.0, which is neutral, all the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium applied will be absorbed by the plants. Different crops, however, have their ideal soil pH levels and are listed in the primer.

There’s an interesting part in the primer which stresses that one should understand how certain nutrients react with each other. It states that not all deficiencies are caused by a lack of nutrients. For example, Calcium deficiency may be diagnosed as due to low calcium levels or because there are high levels of Nitrates (NO3). Nitrates ‘push’ Calcium away and can block absorption.

So, what to do? The primer advises that one should use organic Nitrogen instead of inorganic Nitrogen which is high in Nitrates. Many modern synthetic fertilizers contain primary Nitrates or other salt-based forms of nitrogen. The salts are the most common cause of tip burn, nutrient antagonism, and weak plant growth.

There are many more useful info that you will learn from the primer. For a free copy, contact Harold Hazel Larete at 0917 816-1909.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s August 2018 issue. 

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