Many people have an image in their head of what soil is. It’s rich and full of goodness. They’re not wrong. Good soil is like that, and when we first began growing crops, we succeeded because the soil was so good. Yet if this is the case, then why now do we need fertilizers?
The crops that we grow need nutrients. Where do they get them from? The soil. What this means is that even the best soil will quickly have all the nutrients taken from it by crops, no matter what crop rotations are done to add them back. Even the most fertile soil needs a helping hand to grow a large yield. This is where crop fertilization comes in.
Why Use Fertilizer?
Without the correct nutrients in the soil, crops will fail to grow properly. The concentrations needed varies depending on what is being grown and understanding this means that you can fertilize correctly. The main three nutrients that all crops need are phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium.
Phosphorus plays a major role in photosynthesis – trapping the sun’s rays and converting it into energy. As it’s essential to growth, it’s particularly important in the early stages of a crop’s life cycle. Without enough phosphorus, many plants will be weak and spindly. They will then likely have lower amounts of flowers, fruits, and seeds. In corn you will see a reddening at the edges of the leaves if it is deficient in phosphorus.
Most crops use large amounts of nitrogen, although some, like alfalfa, need more than others to grow the way we want. Plants can’t take nitrogen from the air, only the soil. Nitrogen is a major component of amino acids, which form proteins and are essential to prevents plants withering. Nitrogen is also a component of chlorophyll – which gives plants their green color. This converts sunlight into sugars. The major sign of nitrogen deficiency is yellowing of the leaves and a poor growth rate.
Potassium is required very early in a plants life and benefits the overall heath of any crop. It helps to grow better roots and affects the size and vigor of grain. Because of this, it is known as the ‘quality’ nutrient. If a crop is deficient in potassium, not only will this quality decrease, but it will likely affect the leaves. With soybeans and cotton, the entire leaf can fall away – what’s known as premature defoliation which can ruin the crop.
Chemical vs Organic Fertilizers
It’s clear that in order for crops to grow successfully, and for farmers to be able to have a good yield year on year, then crop fertilization is essential. Yet this doesn’t mean that you have to spray chemicals on your land. You can still give Mother Nature a helping hand, but in a natural, sustainable way.
Chemical fertilizers are artificially extracted. While plants can take them up easily, it is easy to over-do it – which can kill your crop. There are also environmental factors at play here. Runoff from chemical fertilizers is bad for our waterways and wildlife.
Why Chicken Manure Works
Organic fertilizers have a lot of benefits, and that includes chicken manure pellets. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s easy to distribute, and you don’t have to worry about fertilizing too much when composted correctly. Organic manure improves the overall health of the soil, bringing you back to that rich earth that you and your crops are looking for. Chicken manure pellets have the perfect concentration of the different nutrients that crops need.
If you want to talk more about organic fertilizer, or you want to discover more about our chicken manure pellets, then the professionals at Crop Fertility Services are here to help. Call 612-309-7522 today or fill out our quick contact form to learn more.