Name: Gary S.
What is the chemical composition of commercial liquid fertilizer. I
am inquiring about liquid nitrogen fertilizer, is it delivered in an
insoluble form or is it a part of a more complex compound. Also, is it
possible to mix my own for pasture and crop application?
The following may be helpful re. fertilizers in general.
You might want to have your soil tested, and then you can determine what to
add based on its requirements. Recommend checking with your local/state
agricultural extension service.
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D
Liquid fertilizer is just a solution of water-soluble compounds. Many
compounds can be used for fertilizer. Common nitrogen-containing compounds
used are urea, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium phosphate. Some farmers
directly apply ammonia to the soil; this is fairly cheap on a per-pound
basis, but ammonia tends to evaporate rapidly.
Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois
The composition of a commercial fertilizer can be found on the label. You
will see three numbers, for example: 25-18-6. The first number is the %
nitrogen, the second number is the % phosphorus, and the third number is the
% potash (potassium). These are the three major substances required by
plants, and in different proportions depending upon the plant, the
The N,P, and K are obviously not present in their elemental form, but that
is how the relative amounts are expressed.
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Update: June 2012