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Fertilizer Practices in the Areas Involved

As Beeson has pointed out (4), fertilizing and liming practices influence the mineral composition of plants. Consequently it seemed desirable to make a survey of these practices as employed on the fields from which the samples were selected. The data from this survey are summarized in Table 1 below. It is important to note the relatively high rates at which fertilizer is applied in the coastal-plain states as compared to the rates employed farther west. In the east north-central states less dependence is placed on fertilizers and greater use is made of clover sods and manure. Only relatively small amounts of fertilizer are used in Colorado.

The rate of use of lime increases from Georgia northward to New Jersey. It varies considerably from farm to farm in the east north-central states. No lime was used on the Colorado farms.

Table 1
  Farmers using fertilizer (%) Amount fertilizer per acre (lbs.) Quantities (nutrients per acre) Farmers using sidedressings (%)
N (lbs.) P2O5 (lbs.) K2O (lbs.)
Eastern coastal states 100 1,500 90 120 120 50*
East north-central states 40 500 20 60 50 5**
Colorado 39 200 25 40 10 5**
* Usually nitrate of soda or additional complete fertilizer.
** Some carrier of nitrogen.

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