Plant Production & Nutrition

Optimum plant growth is possible only when all essential elements are adequately supplied and in balance with each other.

NITROGEN (N) – represents life, crucial in the formation of proteins

  • Nitrogen is a part of all living cells and is a necessary part of all proteins, enzymes and metabolic processes involved in the synthesis and transfer of energy
  • Nitrogen is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment of the plant that is responsible for photosynthesis
  • Helps plants with rapid growth, increasing seed and fruit production and improving the quality of leaf and forage crops

If Deficient

  • Slow growth
  • Leaves are smaller and yellowish

PHOSPHORUS (P) – the power broker

  • Is an essential part of the process of photosynthesis
  • Involved in the formation of all oils, sugars, starches, etc.
  • Effects rapid growth
  • Encourages blooming and root growth

If Deficient

  • Poorly developed root system

POTASSIUM (K) – the great regulator

  • Potassium is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other mineral element except nitrogen and, in some cases, calcium
  • Helps in the building of protein, photosynthesis, fruit quality and reduction of diseases

If Deficient

  • Small fruits, susceptible to disease

CALCIUM (CA) – is the servant

  • An essential part of plant cell wall structure
  • Provides for normal transport and retention of other elements
  • Provides strength in the plant

If Deficient

  • Weak plant

MAGNESIUM (MG) – puts the ‘green’ in green plants

  • Important part of chlorophyll in all green plants and essential for photosynthesis
  • Activates many plant enzymes needed for growth
  • Determines the quality of a crop

If Deficient

  • Poor quality crop


  • Essential plant food for production of proteins
  • Promotes activity and development of enzymes and vitamins
  • Helps in chlorophyll formation
  • Improves root growth and seed productionHelps with vigorous plant growth and resistance to cold

If Deficient

  • Leaves become yellowish green and exhibit a slow stunted growth
  • Stems are woody and small in diametre


  • Helps in the use of nutrients and regulates other nutrients
  • Aids production of sugar and carbohydrates
  • Essential for seed and fruit development

If Deficient

  • Small fruit that are brown in colour


  • Important for reproductive growth
  • Aids in root metabolism and helps in the utilization of proteins

If Deficient

  • Probable loss in grain yield
  • Probable loss in straw yield


  • Aids plant metabolism

If Deficient

  • Root growth is slow


  • Essential for formation of chlorophyll

If Deficient

  • Stunted growth and leaves may drop easily


  • Functions with enzyme systems involved in breakdown of carbohydrates, and nitrogen metabolism

If Deficient

  • Reduced plant size and decreased fruit production


  • Helps in nitrogen metabolism and synthesis of proteins

If Deficient

  • Pale leaves that may be scorched, cupped or rolled


  • Essential for the transformation of carbohydrates
  • Regulates consumption of sugars
  • Part of the enzyme systems which regulate plant growth

If Deficient

  • Plants fail to develop normally