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Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen in soil

In the surface soil (A-horizon) are present mostly more than 95% of the whole nitrogen as organically bounded nitrogen in living root masses, dead plant masses, humus materials and  living organisms in the ground. The rest of less than 5% is inorganic nitrogen in form of ammonium or nitrate and in a very small amount in form of nitrite. This mineral nitrogen content is determined in spring with the Nmin-method before fertilization. The total nitrogen content of the soils highly depends on their carbon content. It is affected by climate, vegetation, type of soil, ground form and measures of the farmer as for example by cultivation.

Nitrogen in plants

Nitrogen is inserted in photosynthesis products to produce, among other things, proteins and is so promoting the growth. An important meaning is due to the nitrogen as an essential component of the deoxyribonucleic acid and of the chlorophyll. According to each type the rate of dry matter is limited to 2 – 6% or to averagely 1,5 %. The admission of the nitrogen takes place mostly in form of ammonium or nitrate salt.

 What is nitrogen important for?

  • All growth processes in the plant
  • Amino acid synthesis
  • Protein, coenzyme, nucleic acid synthesis
  • Chlorophyll synthesis
  • Phytohormone balance

Whereby nitrogen deficiency is enhanced?

  • Low or high pH value
  • Sandy or light soil (leaching)
  • Low humus content
  • Dryness
  • Heavy rain (leaching) or excessive irrigation
  • Provision of large quantities of non-rotted organic substance (e.g. straw)
  • Rapidly-growing crops