Justus Von Liebig (1807-1882) is the father of chemical fertilizer. The is the man who introduced the NPK (nitrate phosphate Kalium) fertilizer. During his life, he had done a lot of research on fertilizer, mainly for the use of oil palm plantation and rubber plantation, as during that time, the plantation age was booming!
” The growth of plant is limited by the plant nutrient present in the the smallest quantity, all others being present in adequate amount ”
– The law of minimum –
Liebig through his extensive research, found that, the key important nutrient a plant needs are Nitrate, Phosphate, Kalium (Potassium), and Magnesium Oxide. He also found that, the amount of nutrient elements that can be absorbed are different from one nutrient to another.
In his research, he discover that, if a plant is given a single nutrient, it can be absorbed as much as 100% of its requirement. But if the same plant is given a several nutrients at the same time, the level of absorbed nutrients never reached 100% of its requirement. Later, he concluded that, the level of absorption of all nutrients are limited to the level of the nutrients which is absorbed in the smallest quantity. This is his famous “law of minimum”.
Although all supplier claims that their fertilizer follow the rules of Liebig, the NPK ratio, but oil palm owners can never tell the exact ratio of the fertilizer. Unless if the fertilizer is tested in a laboratory!
This explains why some ordinary fertilizer you used before does not meet your expectation.
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