Plant nutrition refers to the need for basic chemical elements and compounds for plant growth and the interrelated steps by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and replacement of tissue.
Fertilizer is therefore plant food, that is a combination of the nutrients for plant use – easy for the plant to benefit from – and which plants need to grow – crucial to its’ development. These nutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K), which are often combined into an NPK blend, and are the primary nutrients in fertilizers.
Secondary Nutrients in fertilizers are Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) which are needed in smaller amounts for normal plant growth. Micronutrients like Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), Nickel (Ni) and Zinc (Zn) are also needed but in even smaller quantities. A deficiency in any nutrient whether primary, secondary or micro-nutrients affects the yields directly.
These plant nutrients can be in the form of:
•Organic fertilizers such as plant residues or livestock manure.
•Mineral fertilizers which are chemically processed to meet crop needs.
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