Nutrient Loss

Plant growth and production of yield largely depends on the nutrient’s availability in soil. Plants often face significant challenges in obtaining an adequate supply of these nutrients to meet the demands of basic cellular processes due to their relative immobility. A deficiency of nutrient may result in decreased plant productivity and/or fertility. Symptoms of nutrient deficiency may include stunted growth, death of plant tissue, or yellowing of the leaves caused by a reduced production of chlorophyll, a pigment needed for photosynthesis. Application of fertilizer need to apply so that plant can develop and growth well. However, application of fertilizer might be inefficiency to soil in several factors. Below are factors that cause loss of nutrients:


Nutrient is loss to the atmosphere by volatilization process when moisture (from soil or air) is just sufficient to dissolve fertilizer applied to the soil surface. The volatilization occurs depends on several factors such as soil properties and environmental conditions such as temperature, moisture condition and soil pH.


Soil erosion by water is the detachment of soil particles by the direct action of raindrops and runoff water, and transport fertilizer and soil particles by splash from high lands to low lands. This is due of low infiltration capacity in soil as a consequence of such as high clay content, surface crusting, high water table and shallow bedrock.


Leaching is the process where excessive nutrient dissolve into the drainage water as it percolates through the soil profile. Leaching varies in different soil types, particularly in coarse-textured soil in the humid tropics where rainfall exceeds evapo-transpiration rate. Other factors that affect nutrient losses by leaching include soil pore size, rainfall intensity, initial water content of the soil and timing of fertilizer application.


Some of elements are present in soil but cannot uptake by plant. For example, nitrogen (N) have a lot in peat soil but nitrogen elements are form organic which plant cannot uptake. This is because several factors which are source of raw material fertilizer, pH, interaction among nutrients and others.


Over pruning is one of factors nutrient loss especially in oil palm which are numbers of frond are important to produce yield. Hence, applied fertilizer will focus on growth performance of fronts instead of produce yield if pruning frond an over limit.

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