Know Your Nutrients: Nitrogen
One of the most abundant elements on Earth, nitrogen (N) is present in the cells of all living systems; without nitrogen, there would be no life.
Despite its abundance, much of the nitrogen in soil is not readily available to plants. There are several factors that can further limit the availability of nitrogen, including water logged soils, poorly aerated soils, and mineral soils low in organic matter.
In plants, nitrogen is essential for plant reproduction, cell division and growth. It is a major component of chlorophyll, needed for photosynthesis, and is necessary for the formation of amino acids, proteins, DNA and RNA. Nitrogen is a primary (macro) nutrient.
All crops can be sensitive to nitrogen deficiency. Visual symptoms include pale green or yellow leaves – an indication that photosynthesis is stalling – and stunted growth. Nitrogen deficient crops will be slower to mature, produce smaller seeds, and will have a decreased resistance to diseases and pests.
A crop’s nitrogen needs are large. If uptake of nitrogen from the soil is limited due to environmental factors, it may be necessary to supplement with a foliar product to ensure plants receive enough to thrive. Liquid foliar fertilizers can be applied with other fertilizers to quickly correct nutrient deficiencies at the first sign of a problem.
For crops in their early stages of growth, OMEX’s Muscle Up (15-9-5), uPtaKe IC (13-7-4), gaiN28, Liquid Urea (20-0-0), and AmiNo13 are foliar fertilizers formulated with a high percentage of nitrogen, along with a customized micronutrient package, to stimulate photosynthesis and encourage growth. They can be combined with other fertilizer mixes to promote strong, healthy crops.
If your crop is showing signs of nitrogen deficiency during grain filling, especially under persistent wet or drought conditions, using a foliar fertilizer such as uPtake IC can provide readily available nitrogen; mitigating damage and protecting your yields.
Talk to your retailer or OMEX sales representative for more information on a plant nutrition program, tailored to your crop’s unique requirements.
In our next post: Phosphorus – the pivotal nutrient for energy and life.