Soil Nutrients

There are 17 essential elements involved in plant nutrition


The Role of Essential Elements


Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are the most frequently required in a crop fertilization program.

  • Nitrogen is necessary for the formation of amino acids, proteins, DNA and RNA. It is essential for plant cell division and vital for plant growth.

  • Phosphorus promotes early root formation and growth, and is involved in photosynthesis, respiration, energy storage and transfer, cell division and enlargement. 

  • Potassium is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and the break down and translocation of starch. Potassium also enhances disease resistance and improves winter hardiness.



Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S) are required in lesser amounts than macronutrients, but each is equally important to the crop. 

  • Calcium increases fruit set and quality and is important for continuous cell division and formation (regulates hormonal activity).

  • Magnesium, the center molecule of chlorophyll, improves utilization and mobility of phosphorus.

  • Sulfur is an integral part of amino acids. It helps develop enzymes, vitamins and oil contents, and aids in seed formation.



Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Chloride(CI) and Molybdenum (Mo) are used in minute amounts but are just as important to plant growth and development as the major nutrients. Some micronutrients control the uptake of major nutrients and key processes.

  • Boron is an essential component of cell wall formation and is key for the germination of pollen grains and growth of pollen tubes.

  • Zinc aids plant growth hormones and enzyme system and is necessary for chlorophyll production and carbohydrate formation.

  • Copper plays a major role in photosynthesis. This element improves the flavour of fruits and vegetables and can help prevent ergot in cereals.

  • Manganese aids in chlorophyll synthesis and increases the availability of phosphorus and calcium.

  • Iron promotes the formation of chlorophyll and acts as an oxygen carrier.

  • Chloride promotes crop health and enhances the maturity of small grains on some soils.

  • Molybdenum is needed to convert inorganic phosphates to organic forms in the plant and aids in the nodulation of legumes, especially in acidic soils.


These are just a few of the ways that essential elements contribute to crop health. 

A&L's AGRICULTURE SERVICES - click on a category to view test packages available

SERVICES:  Soil Testing & Analysis • Soil Health Tests • Plant Tissue Testing • Plant Monitoring Program for Tissue Testing • Chemical and Fertilizer Analysis • Feed / Manure Analysis • Compost Analysis • Plant Disease Diagnostics (PDD)

PRECISION AG:  TerraSiteRx Data Analysis Platform:

1. Site Specific Soil Mapping

2. Algorithms from Remote Imaging for: Crop Health Report - MNDVI, Crop Stress, Crop Damage, Plant Stand Count / Plant Density, Biomass Targeted Zone Sampling and more

A&L Canada Laboratories Inc.


We are an innovative, research driven technology company focused on sustainable development. Through leading expertise, modern laboratory facilities and strong customer focus, A&L serves a wide range of industries including Agriculture, Environmental, Food & Pharma -- globally.


In Agriculture, A&L provides comprehensive analytical services for soil, plant tissue, feed, fertilizer, and water. A&L’s services also include production recommendations, remote sensing and precision agriculture capabilities. A&L Biological Inc. ( is a subsidiary of A&L Canada Laboratories Inc. focused on research and development of biological compounds for use in agricultural production systems. The Environmental division provides organic and inorganic chemistry and general chemistry using state of the art technology and methodology. For Food & Pharma, A&L provides analytical services for plant tissue, water, media and finished product. A&L’s services also include disease diagnostics, genetic analysis, production recommendations, and Plant Monitoring Program. The company operates three analytical laboratories serving clients throughout Canada, the US and Internationally.

Click here for the latest A&L Canada Laboratories News Releases

Click here for the latest A&L Labs Newsletters

A&L Canada Laboratories Inc.

2136 Jetstream Road,

London, Ontario N5V 3P5

Tel: 519-457-2575

Toll Free: 1-855-837-8437

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

©2021 by A&L Canada Laboratories