IMPORTANCE OF MINERAL FERTILISERS
Mineral fertilisers are inorganic substances of natural or industrial origin that contain macro and micro biogenic elements essential for plant nutrition. Formulations primarily contain the following basic plant nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, while in certain cases secondary elements (sulphur, calcium and magnesium) and microelements (Fe, Mn, Zn, Co, B, Mo) are used. These nutrients are an integral part of many plant components like proteins, nucleic acid and chlorophyll, and they have a very important role in biochemical processes which include energy transfer, maintenance of the osmotic pressure and enzyme activities in plant cells. Due to their large effect on metabolic functions of plants, their deficiency is reflected in the development of the plant itself.
The easiest way to compensate for soil which lacks elements required for normal plant growth is with mineral fertilisers. They are used to:
- Supplement natural reserves in the soil – in order to achieve higher yields
- Compensate for biogenic elements removed from the soil by crop growth or through losses, runoff, evaporation or fixation (sedimentation) into inaccessible forms
- Improve unfavourable properties as regards soil fertility (chemical, physical or microbiological)