Plant essential nutrients are required for profitable and sustainable agricultural production. An insufficient amount of any essential nutrient will lead to poor crop or pasture growth and limit production, reducing profit for growers. Similarly, because fertiliser prices represent the single largest farm input cost, overuse will reduce growers profits, and can lead to run-off and off-site impacts, such as leaching into waterways.
Western Australian soils are inherently infertile so many farmers have built up soil nutrition levels and have now adopted a replacement approach to fertiliser management. This approach needs to be carefully managed and the department recommends that growers undertake regular monitoring of soil and plant nutrient levels.