Can You Name All 17 Essential Plant Nutrients?

July 9, 2013 01:51 AM
Can You Name All 17 Essential Plant Nutrients?

Quick, can you name the 17 plant nutrients essential for healthy, high-yielding plants? The list is at the bottom of this story – name as many as you can before you look.

Most farmers would struggle naming them all, admits Kyle Freeman, new product development manager for The Mosaic Company. And that’s OK, he says – focusing on the "heavy hitters" of N, P and K is often an adequate fertility strategy. However, one of the company’s key areas of emphasis in recent years is looking at how some of the other 14 play their own important roles in high-yield environments.

"We always try to remind growers that once we push yields past 225 bu. per acre, we’ll need to take care of NPK, but we’ll also need to put a keener eye on other macro- and micro-nutrients," he says.

To help farmers, retailers and other customers get a better grasp on each of the plant nutrients and how they interact with crops, Freeman and his colleagues have assembled a new web resource,, that launched today. One of the website’s main features is an "interactive periodic table," where users can click on a nutrient to learn basic facts, scientific studies and a photo library that captures valuable nutrient deficiency information.

Recognizing the wide range of expertise in the industry, Freeman says farmers can stay on the surface to learn basic information or take a much deeper dive if they want to dig into more technical information.

"We’re trying to make this information digestible to anyone," he says.

Other areas of will focus on providing educational videos, an extensive research library, timely blog posts from Mosaic agronomists and more, Freeman says.

"The goal of the CropNutrition initiative is simple — to give retailers and growers information on soil fertility, including the important role macronutrients and micronutrients play in driving yield increases, found right at their fingertips," Freeman says. "While technological advancements in seed genetics and precision agriculture have made next-level yields possible, many have not made necessary adjustments to their approach to crop nutrition, which, ultimately, limits yield potential."

Were you able to name the 17 essential plant nutrients? Let us know in the comments section how many you correctly named.

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulfur
  • Calcium
  • Boron
  • Chlorine
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Molybdenum
  • Hydrogen
  • Carbon
  • Oxygen


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