Soils pp 129-159 | Cite as

Plant Nutrients and Soil Fertility Management

  • Khan Towhid OsmanEmail author


Seventeen chemical elements such as C, H, O, N, P, S, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Mo, B, Zn, Cl, and Ni have so far been recognized as essential for plants. Plants cannot complete their life cycles and accomplish normal physiological functions in the absence of these nutrients. Growth and yield of crops are reduced by their deficiencies. There are some other elements, namely, sodium (Na), silicon (Si), vanadium (V), iodine (I), and cobalt (Co), reckoned to be beneficial for growth of certain plants and microorganisms. Plants often suffer from inadequate supply of nutrients by the soil. These inadequacies are met by the application of fertilizers. Fertilizers are any materials added to soils or plant leaves to supply nutrients. There are various natural and synthesized materials used as fertilizers. Composts, farmyard manures, poultry manure, oilcakes, guano, etc. are very good organic fertilizers obtained from natural materials. These substances contain low concentrations of nutrients; so they are needed in huge amounts. Moreover, their composition is not fixed; and estimating their required amounts is difficult. If added in adequate amounts and well ahead of time, they give good results. Industrial fertilizers are soluble, fast acting, and high analysis materials. They contain nutrients in available forms, and therefore, they are very efficient in correcting current deficiencies. Nutrients may be lost from applied fertilizers, especially nitrogenous fertilizers. Some nitrates and phosphates are transported from agricultural lands to surface and groundwater reservoirs. These contaminants have tremendous environmental impacts. Slow-release N fertilizers are being used to minimize loss of nitrogen from crop fields. There are some methods of fertilizer application that might reduce nutrient losses.


Soil Solution Nitrogen Fertilizer Soil Test Farmyard Manure Poultry Manure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of ChittagongChittagongBangladesh

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