Understanding nutrient and fertilizer management starts with understanding how the nutrients work within the soil. Inputs to the soil, losses from the soil and components of the soil are all factors that affect micronutrient transformation. Check out the diagram from eKonomics below to see how micronutrient transformation in the soil happens.
Determining the amount of micronutrients in your soil is the first step to knowing if you need to use fertilizer inputs, like Rainbow Plant Food, to give your plants the nutrients they need to grow. Soil testing yearly can help you best understand what nutrients your soil is lacking to make the best input decisions for your crops. The levels of nutrients in your soil can be impacted by inputs, losses and transformation within the soil:
Inputs to the soil
Inputs to the soil include micronutrients coming from plant residue and mineral fertilizers. When plant residue is left on the soil, micronutrients and macronutrients are left behind, too. Micronutrients from plant residue are decomposed by soil organisms to make them available. Supplementing the soil with fertilizers is often necessary when micronutrient quantities are low. Plants need chloride, iron, manganese, zinc, boron, copper, nickel and molybdenum for optimal plant growth. Rainbow Plant Food can supply the micronutrients plants need to grow in one granule. As an ammoniated fertilizer, Rainbow will give your plants consistent amounts of each nutrient.
Losses from the soil
Runoff, erosion and crop harvest are instances where micronutrients will be lost from the soil. Micronutrients will need to be replaced after the harvesting of a crop. Erosion and runoff can cause nutrient losses, including micronutrient losses. Using cover crops to maintain soil cover can help to reduce runoff and erosion and keep those vital micronutrients in the soil.
Components within the soil
Plant-available micronutrients are absorbed by the plant in the plant uptake process. The plant can uptake micronutrients when soil organic matter, clay and iron oxides and micronutrient minerals are mineralized, desorbed and dissolved, respectively, into micronutrients that the plant is able to absorb.
For optimal crop yields and quality, basic NPK is not enough. It’s important to ensure your crops are getting the appropriate amount of micronutrients through the soil. Test your soil to determine the nutrients your crops need, then review Rainbow Plant Food application recommendations here.
Learn more about the balanced nutrition your crops can get from Rainbow here.
Questions or comments? Reach out to us on Twitter @Rainbow_Plant, or get in touch with your local rep.