Types of fertilizers for agriculture
Fertilizers or fertilizers used in agriculture can be presented in solid, liquid, or gaseous states. Liquids and solids are usually used.
Currently, liquid fertilizers are increasingly used in professional agriculture, although SOLID FERTILIZERS are still the most used. One of the main differences between liquid and solid fertilizers is their form of application in the field.
Liquid mineral or organo-mineral fertilizers differ between bottom fertilizer or NPK and liquid or cover nitrogen fertilizer.
In this post, we will see in more detail the types of liquid fertilizers that are classified according to several factors, their form of application, and the advantages and disadvantages that they give us compared to solids… etc.
Liquid fertilizers according to their presentation
Liquid fertilizers can also be classified according to their presentation:
* Suspensions or mixtures: In this type of liquid fertilizer we find solid fertilizer that is usually in powder dispersed by a liquid medium, but not completely dissolved. It needs to be constantly removed because it is a homogeneous fertilizer and the solid is settled in the lower part of the tank.
* Solutions: it is the most used and best-known type of liquid fertilizer, they are solid elements that have been completely dissolved in a liquid medium and homogeneously.
Liquid fertilizers for Fertigation or Foliar
Liquid Fertilizers can be distinguished according to the type of absorption of the plant:
*Liquid root absorption fertilizers: these fertilizers are applied to the soil so that the plant absorbs them through the roots. It is applied in two ways: in the bottom (soil without cultivation) or in the cover (above the crop), but in both cases, the objective is that the liquid fertilizer reaches the soil.
* Liquid fertilizers of foliar absorption: are those fertilizers that the plant absorbs by the leaves in the advanced stages of the crop. These fertilizers are applied in order for the product to come into contact with the leaves. Normally this type of fertilizer usually carries little nitrogen and compounds with free AMINO ACIDS and other nutrients such as boron, molybdenum, sulfur, or potassium that improve the flowering and fruit set.
Types of application of Liquid Fertilizers
* By spraying with a conventional spraying machine, which is used to apply phytosanitary products in extensive crops.
*By fertigation mixing in the irrigation water, either by sprinkler or drip.
Is it better to apply by spraying or fertigation?
Foliar liquid fertilizers can be used in fertigation without problem when dissolved in water, either by sprinkling or dripping. The only difference is that if they are used for application via drip irrigation we force the absorption to be root. This is no inconvenience since plants absorb these fertilizers in both ways, the only difference is that foliar is faster.
In liquid fertilizers that are absorbed by roots, we are interested in the fertilizer reaching the soil. That is why it is usually applied to jets with special nozzles.
The fertilizers that are usually applied via root are not usually mixed with water, they are applied directly.
Fertigation fertilizers usually damage irrigation infrastructures due to their high salinity, so it is recommended that when fertilizers are applied via irrigation, a minimum dissolution is made. Its high nutrient content and salinity mean that these fertilizers cannot be applied in drip irrigation, since the doses cannot be controlled. The main drawback of the fertigation application is that when the crop is very developed it is very difficult for the product to reach the soil and as we have said the absorption is root.
When applying foliar liquid fertilizers with a sprayer, the application is made as if it were a phytosanitary product, you can even mix FOLIAR FERTILIZERS with phytosanitary products in the same treatment vat. Foliar LIQUID FERTILIZERS can also be used in fertigation without problem when dissolved in water, either by sprinkling or dripping.
Advantages and disadvantages of liquid fertilizers
Liquid fertilizers have many advantages over solids and very few drawbacks.
*The first advantage of liquid fertilizers compared to granulated solids (which are the two main mineral fertilizers used), is that the price of liquid fertilizers is lower, for the same amount of nutrients.
*One of the great advantages of liquid fertilizers is absorption. In granules, you have to wait for the product to dissolve in soil water, in liquids this process is faster.
*One of the drawbacks they have is salinity. In applications, via irrigation, this can be solved with irrigation after the application of the fertilizer. In this way, we clean the leaves and get the fertilizer to reach the ground where we are interested.