Technical Write Up

Potassium (K), along with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), is an essential plant macronutrient that is taken up by crops from soils in relatively large amounts. Potassium increases both the yield and quality of agricultural produce, and enhances the ability of plants to resist diseases, insect attacks, cold and drought stresses and other adverse conditions. It helps in the development of a strong and healthy root system and increases the efficiency of the uptake and use of N and other nutrients. In addition, K has an important role in livestock nutrition. Potassium has been described as the ‘quality element’, ensuring optimum quality of agricultural produce. Potassium has two main functions in the plant. First, it has an irreplaceable role in the activation of enzymes that are fundamental to metabolic processes, especially the production of proteins and sugars. Only small amounts of K are required for this biochemical function. Second, K maintains the water content and thus the turgor of cells – a biophysical role. Turgid cells maintain the leaf’s vigor so that photosynthesis proceeds efficiently. The relationship between the water and nutrient content of the cell controls the movement of both through the plant, as well as the transport of sugars produced by photosynthesis to storage organs like grains, beet roots, tubers and fruits. Much larger quantities of K are needed for this physiological function than for its biochemical role in plants.

Potassium deficiency might cause abnormalities in plants, usually the symptoms are growth related.

Potassium defficiency symptoms

Cholrosis- scorching of plant leaves, with yellowing of the margins of the leaf. This is one of the first symptoms of Potassium deficiency. Symptoms appear on middle and lower leaves.

Slow or Stunted growth – as potassium is an important growth catalyst in plants, potassium deficient plants will have slower or stunted growth.

Poor resistance to temperature changes and to drought – Poor potassium uptake will result in less water circulation in the plant. This will make the plant more susceptible to drought and temperature changes.

Defoliation - left unattended, potassium deficiency in plants results in plants losing their leaves sooner than they should. This process might become even faster if the plant is exposed to drought or high temperatures. Leaves turn yellow, then brown and eventually fall off one by one.

Other symptoms of Potassium deficiency:

  • Poor resistance to pests
  • Weak and unhealthy roots
  • Uneven ripening of fruits

Proper fertilizer management can avoid potassium deficiencies and damage to crops.

TEQSOL enables efficient stem rooting and deepens wide thus circulation factor from root established efficiently resulting improved immunity less disease attack to crops. More Teqsol blend of potassium with solvent ( Organic ) to prevent the crops glucose & chlorophyll dis efficiency thus adequate nutrients supply are met in process enabling well improved growth and maximises yield ( or ) production.

Nitrogen is a primary plant nutrient that plays a major role in achieving the maximum economic yields from your production acres. Management of Nitrogen, and other essential nutrients, is part of a balanced fertility program. This can lead to increased efficiency and profitability for the grower.

Nitrogen Requirements

Plants absorb Nitrogen in some of the greatest amounts of any essential nutrient. In order for a crop to achieve its maximum yield potential, Nitrogen is needed in large quantities and must be in balance with other nutrients.

Understanding Nitrogen

In order to manage your soil’s Nitrogen, you must understand what happens to Nitrogen in the soil. Most of the Nitrogen (97 – 98%) in the soil is tied up in the organic matter and unavailable to plants. Only 2 – 3% is in the inorganic form of nitrate (NO3–) and the ammonium (NH4+) forms that is available to plants. The organic matter (at proper moisture, temperature, and oxygen content) is continuously being broken down by microorganisms and released as inorganic Nitrogen into the soil. This process is called mineralization. An opposite process also occurs where microorganisms feed on inorganic Nitrogen. This process is called immobilization.

In healthy soil both processes are taking place at the same time. When large amounts of stover (straw or corn stalks) which have a high carbon and low Nitrogen content is incorporated into the soil, immobilization can take place at such a rapid rate and deplete the soil of all or most of its available Nitrogen. Later the microorganisms bodies will breakdown and decay going through the process of mineralization. This Nitrogen is again released into the soil and becomes available for plant growth.

During the process of mineralization, most of the organic matter is first converted to ammonium (NH4+). The process that breaks down the ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3–) by nitrifying bacteria is called nitrification. This process is very important because nitrate is readily available for use by crops and microorganisms. Nitrates are very mobile in the soil.

Nitrogen is lost from the soil in several ways: plant uptake, microorganisms, nitrates that move out with drainage water, and the loss of nitrates by denitrification. Denitrification occurs in flooded or saturated soils during periods of warm temperatures. In this state of depleted oxygen, microorganisms take oxygen from the nitrate (NO3–). Then the Nitrogen escapes into the air as gas. Denitrification is commonly observed in wet spots in corn fields where the plants are yellow and stunted.

Applied Nitrogen can also be lost in several ways: urea applied to the surface converts rapidly to NH3 and escapes into the air as ammonia gas when adequate moisture, temperature, and the enzyme urease is present. To avoid this loss, incorporate the urea, or irrigate immediately. A urease inhibitor can also be utilized to reduce loss. Anhydrous ammonia can also be lost rapidly if the injection slot is not sealed.

Most plants absorb a majority of their Nitrogen in the nitrate (NO3–) form and to a lesser extent the ammonium (NH4+) form. Rice utilizes the ammonium (NH4+) as its primary source of Nitrogen. Plant growth seems to improve when a combination of ammonium and nitrate Nitrogen is taken up by the plant. Once inside the plant, the nitrate is transforms to NH4-N through energy provided by photosynthesis.

In alfalfa and soybeans, most of the Nitrogen is supplied by Nitrogen fixation by rhizobia and other symbiotic bacteria. This Nitrogen is fixed in the nodules on the roots of the plants. Presence of nodules does not mean that Nitrogen will be fixed. Healthy nodules are usually located on the primary root and are larger in size, elongated, form clusters, and have pink-to-red centers. The red color represents the presence of leghemoglobin, which means that the rhizobia are fixing Nitrogen in the nodules.

Functions In The Plant

Inside the plant, Nitrogen converts to amino acids, the building blocks for proteins. These amino acids are then used in forming protoplasm, which is used in cell division. These amino acids are also utilized in producing necessary enzymes and structural parts of the plant and can become part of the stored proteins in the grain.

Nitrogen serves as the source for the dark green color in the leaves of various crops. This is a result of a high concentration of chlorophyll. Nitrogen combined with high concentrations of chlorophyll utilizes the sunlight as an energy source to carryout essential plant functions including nutrient uptake.

Chlorophyll is associated with the production of simple sugars from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These sugars along with their conversion products play a role in stimulating plant growth and development along with higher protein content in the grain.

Nitrogen deficiency shows up in the yellowing or chlorosis of the plant leaves. The yellowing will start in the oldest leaves, and then will proceed to develop on younger leaves if the deficiency continues.

Plants will typically be shorter or stunted and grow slower than plants with sufficient Nitrogen. Nitrogen stress also reduces the amount of protein in the seed and plant. Tillering can also be reduced in small grains.

A Nitrogen deficiency can also affect the stand ability of crops as grain fill occurs. If a plant is deficient in Nitrogen, it will draw Nitrogen out of the leaves and stalk for grain fill. This will weaken the stalk or stem causing stand ability problems.

Fertilization with K is critical to achieving the required quality standard. A great deal of research has established the beneficial effect of balanced nutrient supply, including adequate K, on the quality of the harvested produce. This is especially so for nutritional properties, such as the content of protein, oil, vitamins, and for functional aspects (such as taste). Crops with an adequate supply of K have a better appearance, taste and flavor, and also produce food free of the signs of pests and diseases. Potassium fertilization increases yields and improves N fertilizer use-efficiency, which results in less residual nitrate (NO3 ) in soils and therefore less environmental pollution. Numerous on-farm trials within IPI projects have proved that balanced fertilization with K helps the farmer to produce food which meets the various quality criteria. Of course K is not the only nutrient that affects quality, but its balanced supply with other nutrients increases resistance, lowers production costs, improves the product’s appearance and reduces the risk of rejection when the produce is offered for sale. Balanced fertilization also safeguards natural resources and contributes to environmental protection.