Nitrogen in Mississippi Soils
Nitrogen is essential for plant growth. It is the mineral plants require most. Lack of nitrogen in a plant may be seen on older leaves that are mostly pale green or yellow.
Field crops typically require more N than Mississippi soils provide in a growing season. Fertilizer or manure sources of N must be added for economical crop production. But too much available N may lower yields and lessen crop quality. If soil N as nitrate (NO3-) supply is greater than crop demand, the excess NO3- may enter ground or surface water. Nitrogen behavior is complex, but farmers must understand it so they can manage it for greatest profit and least environmental impact.
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