Soil Nutrients Original by Casey Osksa Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office July, 2002 What nutrients do plants get from the air and water? • Carbon • Hydrogen • Oxygen What are the Primary Nutrients? • Nitrogen • Phosphorous • Potassium What are the Secondary Nutrients? • Sulfur • Calcium • Magnesium What are the Micronutrients? • Iron • Boron • Zinc • Manganese • Copper • Molybdenum • Chlorine What are the 16 essential nutrients? • C HOPKNS Ca Fe Mg B Mn Cu Zn Cl Mo Functions of Primary Nutrients and the deficiency symptoms? • Nitrogen: other than water, most important, determines rate of growth – deficiency: yellowing of leaves • Phosphorous: needed most during germination and during fruit/seed formation – deficiency: stunted growth, purple color in leaves • Potassium: mostly regulatory – deficiency: stunted growth, mottled leaves Are there non-essential plant nutrients that need to be considered? • Yes, iodine and cobalt are essential in animals but found in plants Why is a knowledge of soil nutrients necessary? • maximize yield • maximize profit • maintain soil fertility How do you determine soil fertility? • soil testing • manage organic matter • fertilize What is Fertilizer Analysis? • it is the amount of the different nutrients found in a fertilizer • the amount is listed as a percent • it is ALWAYS listed Nitrogen-Phosphorous- Potassium (N-P-K) • a fertilizer labeled 10-15-10 is 10% Nitrogen, 15% Phosphorous, and 10% Potassium • if there is a fourth letter it is for Sulfur How many pounds of Nitrogen are in a 50# bag of 10-15-10? • 10% of 50# = 5# Nitrogen Pounds of Actual Nutrients in a 50# bag of 10-15-10? • add up 10+15+10 = 35% nutrients or 17.5# What is the other 65% of this bag? • inert materials (filler) Analysis A hobby gardener buys a bag of "Scott's Turfbuilder" uptown for $31.95. The bag weighs 62# and has an analysis of 22-3-3-10. • How many pounds of actual nutrients? – 17.2# • What is the cost per pound of actual nutrients? – $1.86 Analysis A similar analysis of "Farmers Grade Fertilizer" runs about $0.40 per pound of actual nutrient.
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