Application of different types of fertilizers by farmers who are growing different varieties of plants is essential in the production of crops used for food, feed, fibre and fuel.
Most of these nutrients are absorbed by the crop but when applied in excess, they can be lost to the environment through volatilisation into the air, leaching into ground water, emission from soil to air, and runoff into surface water.
These losses can be reduced by adoption of best management practices that increase the nutrients’ accessibility for plant use, enhance plants’ ability to uptake nutrients and more closely match nutrient applications with agronomic practices.
There are different types of fertilizers on the Ugandan market for farmer application depending on the types of crops ranging from cereals, vegetative propagated crops and vegetables among others.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) is one type of fertilizer that is mainly applied by farmers growing cereal crops such as maize. It is advisable for farmers to apply it at the ratio of 17 per cent each usually during planting.