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Soil Fertility and Higher Alfalfa Yields

February 21, 2017

Soil fertility fulfills the basic need of a plant – it’s the foundation of all crop production. A crop’s success is largely dependent on vital crop nutrients, such as boron, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

In relatively large amounts, the soil supplies important macronutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur. According to Purdue University, to keeps plants healthy and give them the best chance to compete against insects, diseases and other stresses, a balance of these nutrients is essential. The proper amount of potassium is critical for growth and development, particularly for alfalfa. Potassium fosters higher-yielding and higher-quality alfalfa crops, helping maximize performance and profitability.

Potassium also:

  • Helps regulates enzymatic processes in the plant.
  • Enhances root development and tolerance to temperature extremes.
  • Improves drought tolerance.
  • Minimizes susceptibility to disease.

Consider the plant’s needs before fertilizing: Be sure to test the soil for potassium levels and fertilize accordingly. Adequate nutrition maintains crop vigor and allows plants to better cope with stresses. Proper levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and potassium help ensure high yields of quality forage, ultimately helping you grow more alfalfa.

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