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Name: Gary S.
Status: educator
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999-2001 


Question:
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?


Replies:
The following may be helpful re. fertilizers in general.

http://www.uog.edu/cals/site/users/soil/soil/fertft5a.html

http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/soilfert.htm

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.
Assistant Director
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 season....

The N,P, and K are obviously not present in their elemental form, but that is how the relative amounts are expressed.

Vince Calder



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