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Updated: Feb 22

How to Fix Nitrogen Deficiency in Plants: Addressing High Phosphorus Levels - Main Blog Image

Nitrogen deficiency in plants is a widespread issue among farmers, leading to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and reduced yields in many crops. In this article, we’ll discuss how to fix nitrogen deficiency in plants and how one of the lesser-known causes of nitrogen deficiency is elevated levels of phosphorus in the soil. As well as examining how elevated soil phosphorus levels can result in nitrogen deficiency in plants, we will provide steps on how to fix Nitrogen deficiency.

To get started, there are a couple of things you must understand to get to the root of your challenge. Be sure you're acquainted with the following information before you try to solve your Nitrogen deficiency problem:

The Effect of Elevated Soil Phosphorus on Soil pH

Elevated levels of phosphorus in the soil can raise its pH level, making it more alkaline. This is because phosphorus reacts with the ground, producing an alkaline compound called calcium phosphate. This shift in pH affects the solubility and availability of other nutrients, including nitrogen, which is vital for crop growth. Nitrates and ammonium are the two forms of nitrogen present in the soil, and the soil pH influences their availability. If the pH becomes too high, the nitrogen may become less accessible to the crops, resulting in nitrogen deficiency.

Influence on Soil Microbial Community

In addition to altering soil pH, elevated levels of phosphorus in the soil can also impact the soil microbial community. This can disrupt the nitrogen cycle, as specific bacteria in the soil convert atmospheric nitrogen into forms that crops can utilize, such as nitrates and ammonium. When the soil has elevated levels of phosphorus, it can encourage the growth of bacteria that consume nitrogen, reducing the overall availability of nitrogen for crops.

Now that we've covered the effect of elevated soil phosphorus on soil pH and its influence on the soil microbial community, we're ready to review the steps for addressing how to fix Nitrogen deficiency in plants.

Steps for Addressing Nitrogen Deficiency Due to Elevated Soil Phosphorus

To address Nitrogen deficiency in plants and crops due to elevated soil phosphorus levels, such as nitrogen deficiency in corn or other crops, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Test soil pH: To confirm if elevated soil phosphorus levels are causing Nitrogen deficiency, it is imperative to test the soil pH. A soil pH test kit can be obtained from a local agricultural supply store or online.

  2. Adjust soil pH: If the soil pH is too high, it can be lowered by adding sulfur or looking at Ammonium-based nitrogen fertilizers that release hydrogen ions into the soil, lowering the pH.

  3. Reduce phosphorus levels: Along with pH management, steps can be taken to reduce phosphorus levels in the soil. The addition of organic acids, phosphorus-solubilizing bacteria, and products like NutriCharge can all help remove more tied-up phosphorus in the soil.

We know that Nitrogen deficiency can have detrimental effects on the growth and yield of crops such as corn. Elevated soil phosphorus levels can contribute to nitrogen deficiency in plants by altering soil pH through the production of calcium phosphate, and impacting the soil microbial community. But, by testing soil pH and adjusting it or reducing phosphorus levels in the soil, nitrogen deficiency in crops can be addressed, leading to a successful harvest.

Do you find yourself dealing with Nitrogen deficiency in your plants or crops and feel like you need additional support to rectify the problem? Reach out to our team here at AgroTech. We are here to help you elevate your farm and agriculture projects. You can click here to discuss your farming needs and challenges with one of our reps at AgroTech here. You can also give us a call at +1-(913) 764-7766.

Happy farming!