Any farmer around the world knows that Nitrogen is the mineral element that plants require in very large amounts. It is taken up from the soil as nitrate (NO-3) and or ammonium (NH+4) ions.I therefore would like to take you through the importance of Nitrogen on your crops and why it’s absence leads to low quality yields on your piece of land.
What are the functions of Nitrogen?
-Nitrogen is a constituent of proteins (amino acids) , nucleic acids, chlorophyll and growth hormones.
– An adequate supply of Nitrogen increases both the soluble amino acids and proteins in leaf; the additional proteins allows the leaves to grow larger and hence have a larger area for photosynthesis.
-More to this, an adequate supply of Nitrogen promotes a dark green colouration by promoting chlorophyll formation through increase in Nitrogen concentration in the crop.
–Nitrogen Deficiency rapidly inhibits plant growth. In the event that such a deficiency persists, most species show chlorosis which refers to the yellowing of leaves especially in the older leaves near the base of the plant.
– Under severe Nitrogen deficiency, these leaves become completely yellow (or tan) and fall of the plant; younger leaves may not show this symptoms initially. The reason behind this is that Nitrogen can be mobilised from older leaves. Thus a Nitrogen deficient plant may have light, green upper leaves and yellow or tan lower leaves.
– When Nitrogen deficiency develops slowly, plants may have markedly slender and often woody stems. This woodiness maybe due to a build up of excess carbohydrates that cannot be used in the synthesis of amino acids or other Nitrogen compounds.
– Carbohydrates not used in Nitrogen metabolism may also be used in anthocyanine synthesis,leading to the accumulation of this pigment.
This condition is always revealed as a purple colouration in leaves,petioles, and stems of Nitrogen-deficient plants such as tomatoes and certain varieties of plants.
Know why you need that Ammonium nitrate fertilizer.