Overview

Proper nutrition is essential for satisfactory crop growth and production. Nutrient requirements of crops and the ability of soils to supply nutrients vary widely. In this section you’ll find information, including the Alberta Fertilizer Guide, for using fertilizers to supplement nutrient requirements under the various cropping and soil-climate conditions throughout the province.

Crops require 16 essential elements to grow properly. Air and water supply 3 main elements: carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O2). These elements comprise from 94.0 to 99.5 % of fresh plant tissue. The remaining nutrients, which come from the soil, make up the balance of plant tissue. Most of these remaining nutrients are in the form of inorganic salts, which do not contain carbon.

Macronutrients

Macronutrient deficiencies are most often responsible for limiting crop yields in Alberta. Soil macronutrients include:

  • nitrogen (N)
  • phosphorus (P)
  • potassium (K)
  • sulphur (S)
  • calcium (Ca)
  • magnesium (Mg)

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are other essential elements needed by plants in relatively small amounts. Micronutrients are less commonly deficient, and include:

  • boron (B)
  • chlorine (Cl)
  • copper (Cu)
  • iron (Fe)
  • manganese (Mn)
  • molybdenum (Mo)
  • zinc (Zn)

Contact

Connect with the Ag-Info Centre:

Hours: 8 am to 5 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-FARM (3276)
Phone: 403-742-7901 (outside Alberta)
Email: [email protected]