Explanation arable land

Each crop requires nutrients. The essential nutrients that a crop needs most are nitrogen (N), sulphur (S), phosphate (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). The other essential nutrients are the micro nutrients iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo) and chloride (Cl). A crop requires relatively low concentrations of these micro nutrients, however a deficit can cause loss of yield and/or quality in every crop.

A number of other nutrients (sodium, silicon, cobalt, selenium) can also be important to - amongst other factors - the yield, quality, resilience, sturdiness, fertility, palatability and (animal) health.

Elements can also compete with each other. For example, if the Mg status is “good” but the K status is “high”, then an Mg deficiency can still occur. Therefore, the recommended dosages take these interactions into consideration.


The N recommendation relates to an annual dose. If possible, we recommend splitting this N dose into several applications. You can use our SoilCheck soil test in season to determine whether subsequent applications are necessary. This test measures the plant-available N (mineral N) in the soil among other things.


Sulphur (S) is released by the degradation (mineralisation) of organic matter or manure. This mineralisation is performed by soil organisms. Soil organisms are not very active under colder conditions, which means not much S is released from the soil early in the spring. Therefore, it is sensible to fertilise with S for many early crops, even if the soil content is good or high.

The crops rapeseed, winter barley and winter wheat receive a fixed sulphur recommendation. For these crops sulphur fertilization in early spring is advised.


The crops potatoes, beets, grains, peas, onions, beans, cabbage, carrots, lettuce and rapeseed are most susceptible to a manganese deficiency.


Give the lime prior to the most lime needing crop.

No more than 5 tonnes of lime per ha/track when applying in the autumn and no more than 3 tonnes of lime per ha/track in the spring. It is recommended to give smaller doses more frequently (several years), rather than a large quantity all at once.

Excess amounts of lime can induce defiencies of boron, manganes and phosphate.

Note: with liming calcium and magnesium can be added.

Cation Humus-Complex (CEC)

The cation exchange capacity represents the characteristic of the soil to tie positively charged nutrients (like K, mg, Na and Ca) and other elements (Al and H). It is assume to be a stock from which the soil can supply nutrients to the crop. Also nutrients tied to the CEC are less likely to be leached.