Information for farmers

Mineral fertilizers will be more effective if applied according to a complex system that implies the right combination of amount, time and ways of application depending on the planned crop yield, type and crop peculiarities of plants and their position in the crop rotation.

It is also important to remember that all nutrients have the same importance for growth and development of plants, and that high crop yield is impossible to achieve with a surplus or shortage of any of the elements.

When developing a system for fertilization of agricultural crops one should take into account the fact that the nutrition elements are consumed unevenly in the course of plants' growth and development. With regard to the nutrition conditions two periods can be distinguished:

  1. Maximum consumption period (intensive vegetative mass growth, flowering, seeds and fruits);
  2. Critical period (first stages of plants’ growth and development, when generative and vegetative parts are laid).

Fertilization system

Fertilization system is a science based optimal combination of different types of fertilizers, their doses, time and application methods for a certain crop in particular soil and climatic conditions. Major fertilizers should supply nutrition for the plant through the whole vegetation period, thus the biggest proportion of all the necessary nutrients is included in the major fertilizer. Additional nutrition is used to supply plants with nutrients during critical periods and periods of maximum consumption when application of extra doses of fertilizers can significantly influence the volume and the quality of crop yield.

Mineral fertilizer application standards are set according to the type of crop, removal of nutrients and characteristics of soil (content of movable forms of phosphorus and potassium).

The following factors also affect the quality and the yield of agricultural crops:

  • The way in which a plant is fertilized; 
  • The types of fertilizers that are used.


In mineral fertilizers nitrogen is often present in ammonium, nitrate, and amide forms. Through a neutral reaction of the environment the plants consume ammonium salts (containing ammonium form of nitrogen). More effective is an acid environment in which nitrate salts are better consumed. With ammonium nitrogen nutrition it is also important to supply plants with calcium, magnesium and potassium. With nitrate nutrition, it is important to supply plants with phosphorus and molybdenum.

Phosphorus is assimilated from water- and citrate-soluble forms. On almost neutral soils phosphorus is assimilated from water soluble forms of phosphorus fertilizers, on acid soils – from water soluble and phosphorus forms and in phosphorus forms soluble in weak acids (citrate-soluble). On soils with pH less then 4,5-5 (very acid) the phosphorus nutrition of plants is significantly disturbed, so these soils require preliminary acidity normalization (liming). For presowing fertilization water-soluble forms of phosphorus fertilizers can be used.

Potassium that is found in soil solution, is well assimilated by plants in all soils. It is preferable to use sulphate forms of potassium fertilizers for spring application and for additional nutrition, potassium chloride at the time of fall cultivation of soil that helps the excess chlorine ions to be leached by melt water.

The best fertilizers for wheat are ammonium nitrate, sulphur-containing fertilizers and complex fertilizers for bed application and additional nutrition.

Complex mineral fertilizers for wheat cultivation produce better effects then bulk blends. Potato gives a positive response to any nitrogen fertilizers and water-soluble forms of phosphorus fertilizers. Potato is a potassium demanding plant, but chlorine containing potassium fertilizers reduces the accumulation of starch in tubers. The use of sulphate forms of potassium fertilizers increases the yield of potato by 14 c/ha.

Ammonium nitrate, calcium-ammonium nitrate, and easily-available forms of phosphorus fertilizers are often used for sugar beets. Sugar beet positively takes chlorine containing potassium fertilizers and is highly responsive to microelements. For corn fertilization the best nitrogen fertilizer is ammonium nitrate, calcium-ammonium nitrate, and NPK 27:6:6:2; it is preferable to apply water-soluble phosphates, potassium chloride and potassium sulphate together with sulphur.

Sorghum is responsive to ammonium sulphate or nitrogen sulphate applied as bedding and ammonium nitrate as additional nutrient. Recommended phosphorus fertilizers are those that contain phosphorus in easily assimilated forms, of potassium fertilizers – those containing potassium chloride or potassium sulphate.

The method of application also affects the ability of mineral fertilizers to assimilate nutrients. Plants consume nutrients best of all when fertilizers are applied at the depth of 8-10 sm in the rows. Such application reduces the loss of nutrients and helps plants to take up nutrients more effectively.

Effectiveness of the use of fertilizers by plants also depends on the time when these fertilizers are applied.

The best time for application of fertilizers produced by URALCHEM:

Type of fertilizer

Fertilizer grade,  kg/ha

Comments

Timing

Major (fall)

Presowing
application (spring)

Bed
application

Additional nutrition

Nitrogen

Ammonium nitrate (34,4:0:0)

Major, presowing

V

V

 

V

Calcium-ammonium nitrate (27N +4Ca)

Applied on acid soils

V

V

 

V

Nitrogensulphate (32:0:0:5)

For crops that response to sulphur application, for all crops as the major nitrogen fertilizer

V

V

 

V

Nitrogensulphate (26N+13P)

If potassium fertilizers were applied in fall

 

V

V

 

Complex

NPK 21:10:10:2

Universal fertilizer for cultivated soils with medium content of movable forms of phosphorus and potassium

 

V

V

 

NPK  22:7:12:2

Presowing Fertilizer for presowing application for potassium demanding crops

 

V

V

 

NPK 27:6:6:2

High concentration nitrogen fertilizer stabilized P and K, ideal for fertilization of annual grasses and additional nutrition of winter grain crops

 

V

V

V

Chlorine free NPK 18:18:18

Chlorine free highly concentrated fertilizer for flower, vegetable crops and potato.

 

V

V

 

Soil acidity (рН) – one of the basic factors on which the fertilization effectiveness depends. It is not recommended to place valuable and highly intensive crops on acidic and very acidic soils (pH less then 5), as it is impossible to create balanced conditions for the nitrogen-phosphate nutrition of plants. High soil acidity rate is one of the reasons for infestation of fields as most weeds grow by the acid reaction of soil solution.