NutrientWith so much in our lives riding on our ability to produce plant life, it's no wonder that much research has been done on how plants grow and exactly what they need to thrive.

All growing plants need the proper amounts of 17 essential elements to develop and grow their full genetic potential—the complete expression of the characteristics passed to them by their parents. Of these 17, 14 are usually absorbed by the plant from the soil through its roots. The three remaining elements—carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen—come from air and water.

Understanding the various nutrients plants need and providing those nutrients—in the right amounts, in the right forms, in the right place and at the right time—is the essence of crop nutrition. And, site-specific crop nutrition is key to both plant and animal agriculture, since animals must consume nourishing plants to thrive. Whether one is growing a beautiful bed of flowers, a lush green lawn, hay for horses or a field of wheat, plant nutrition is at the foundation of successful growth.