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Nutrient Source Specifics

Looking for brief information about the production, agricultural use, management practices, and chemical properties of common fertilizer materials? Nutrient Source Specifics are one-page fact sheets highlighting various fertilizers and nutrient sources. Written by IPNI scientific staff, these items are primarily for educational use by a non-technical audience. Consult with a local expert regarding specific recommendations on nutrient use. This series is also available in Chinese and Spanish.

 

Phosphate Rock

NSS-19 Phosphate Rock - Phosphorus (P) additions are needed in most areas of the world to improve soil fertility and crop production. Direct application of unprocessed phosphate rock (PR) to soil may provide a valuable source of plant nutrients in specific conditions, but there are several factors and limitations to consider.

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Polyphosphate

NSS-2 Polyphosphate - Phosphorus deficiency limits the growth and productivity of plants in many parts of the world. Since many soils are low in P, this nutrient is commonly added to improve crop yield and quality. Phosphorus is derived from geologic deposits distributed across the globe. Polyphosphate is an excellent liquid fertilizer that is widely used in agriculture.

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Potassium Chloride

NSS-3 Potassium Chloride - Potassium fertilizers are commonly used to overcome plant deficiencies. Where soils cannot supply the amount of K required by crops, it is necessary to supplement this essential plant nutrient. Potash is a general term used to describe a variety of K-containing fertilizers used in agriculture. Potassium chloride (KCl), the most commonly used source, is also frequently referred to as muriate of potash or MOP (muriate is the old name for any chloride-containing salt). Potassium is always present in minerals as a single-charged cation (K+).

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Potassium Magnesium Sulfate (Langbeinite)

NSS-6 Potassium Magnesium Sulfate (Langbeinite) - Langbeinite is a unique source of plant nutrition since three essential nutrients are naturally combined into one mineral. It provides a readily available supply of K, Mg, and S to growing plants.

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Potassium Nitrate

NSS-11 Potassium Nitrate - Potassium nitrate (KNO3) is a soluble source of two major essential plant nutrients. It is commonly used as a fertilizer for high-value crops that benefit from nitrate (NO3-) nutrition and a source of potassium (K+) free of chloride (Cl-).

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Potassium Sulfate

NSS-5 Potassium Sulfate - Potassium fertilizer is commonly added to improve the yield and quality of plants growing in soils that are lacking an adequate supply of this essential nutrient. Most fertilizer K comes from ancient salt deposits located throughout the world. The word “potash” is a general term that most frequently refers to potassium chloride (KCl), but it also applies to all other K-containing fertilizers, such as potassium sulfate (K2SO4 , commonly referred to as sulfate of potash or SOP).

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