Fertilization is among the most essential aspect of agriculture. It is primarily used to develop poor soils among various other purposes. Commercially produced fertilizer is often preferred by most farmers, however it is expensive hence the need for affordable and easily accessible options. Cottonseed meal can be utilized as fertilizer due to its highly nutritious profile. Cottonseed meal is a by-product of cotton manufacturing. Cottonseed meal has been used as a natural fertilizer for decades with great results and is the preferred fertilizer by a number of farmers. Cottonseed meal fertilizer contains major and minor elements that helps to stimulate rapid growth; it consists of some carbon as an energy source for the microbes, increases soil organic matter, aerates heavy tight clay soils and helps light sandy soils hold moisture. In order for farmers to reap these benefits and ensure successful yields, there is need to acquire sound knowledge on nutritional properties and appropriate rations for efficient use of cottonseed meal fertilizer.

Properties of Cottonseed Meal Fertilizer

Cottonseed meal is a by-product of cotton manufacturing. Formulas vary slightly, but they generally contain 7% nitrogen, 3% phosphorus and 2% potash. Cottonseed meal fertilizer is also rich in tare nutrients that are crucial for proper plant development and successful yields. Due to its unique properties, this type of fertilizer is often use in acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons. Keep in mind that these acid-loving plants should also be planted in acid soils. Cottonseed meal fertilizer has been proven to contain numerous carbon compounds that are food for the beneficial microbes, hence it stimulates growth of these desirable species. It is advisable to apply cottonseed meal fertilizer prior to planting so as to achieve higher yields. It should ideally be added to the compost heap to facilitate decomposition which improves soil fertility. Cottonseed meal fertilizer is ideal for plants such as vegetables, turf, berries as well as landscape plants. The benefits can be summed up as

  • Promotes vigorous and robust growth.
  • Lower soil PH, making it convenient for a surge in elements like iron and magnesium in the soil.
  • Holds high organic content.
  • Suitable for aeration of tight and dense soil.
  • Aids in moisture retention in light and sandy soil.
  • Infused with seven essential strains of beneficial soil microbes.

Soil pH

Soil pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity in soils. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with pH 7 as the neutral point. Most plants tend to favour either acidic soils of approximately 4.5 to 5.5 pH whereas some do well in alkaline soils of about 7 to 8. Cottonseed meal fertilizer is recommended for the reduction of acidity in soils. Farmers are advised to conduct a soil test in order to determine the pH level of the soil which has an influence on the ration application of cottonseed fertilizer. The purpose of reducing pH levels in soils is to allow successful plant development. With the widespread of agriculture and concurrent droughts in some parts of the world, farmers do not always have suitable soil type for farming certain products. Therefore, they rely on artificial means of maintaining soil conditions thereby making them favourable for agriculture. According to research, high-nitrogen content cottonseed meal has long been employed as an organic fertilizer that lowers the pH of soil, poses little danger of burning plants, and provides nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as many minor plant food elements. The control of soil pH also improves the increase the availability of elements like iron and magnesium. Soils with unsuitable pH levels is easily identifiable by presence of yellow plant leaves.

Soil Structure

The most convenient and useful fertilizers are not only beneficial to the plant’s strength and growth but also improve soil health. Soils are composed of various micro and macronutrients as well as microbes that are of the essence in the structure of the soil as well as plant growth. Having a fertilizer infused with the necessary components that unlock some of the soil nutrients and activates soil microbes is vital. Cottonseed meal fertilizer provides nitrogen, potash, phosphorus and other minor nutrients. These play an essential role in improving soil structure allowing for rapid plant growth. Some agricultural research point out the need for farmers to incorporate cottonseed meal fertilizer during soil preparation so as to eliminate runoff and encourage vigorous plant growth. As earlier stated, another reason for the use of cottonseed meal fertilizer is to help build humic acid that is necessary for plant health, development as well as productivity. It works by loosening packed soil thereby allowing aeration.

Soil Fertility

Cottonseed meal is a rich source of a variety of nutrients that include nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and micro-minerals. Plants require a variety of nutrients to grow and produce as desired. The most important elements necessary for plant growth can be summed up as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and secondary nutrients. These are present in cottonseed meal fertilizer hence the recommendation to farmers. The phosphorus, potash, and nitrogen nutrients found in cottonseed meal fertilizer are slowly released to the soil and are available for the plant’s intake for more extended periods. Note that cottonseed is most suitable for acid-loving crops hence should be applied to plants that prefer alkaline soils. Another key factor to be considered is that the heavy protein in the cotton meal slows decomposition. Soil microbes have to process the proteins to release nutrients the plants can use.

Conclusion

Cottonseed meal fertilizer has been proven to be highly beneficial to the agricultural sector. Cottonseed meal fertilizer is a slow-release fertilizer, widely considered high quality and a dry by-product in the production of cotton. It consists of a high organic content which aerates tight, dense soil and aids in retaining moisture in light, sandy soil. Due to its slow release time, cottonseed meal feed is safe to use liberally without danger of possible foliage burn, it promotes healthy foliage, and increases crop production. To add on, cottonseed meal improves the soil’s texture, helps build humic acid needed for proper plant growth and health. It loosens packed soil and helps give substance to light and sandy soils, aids in water retention and also protection of the soil from rapid erosion. Cottonseed meal fertilizer is commonly used for acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, leading to spectacular flowering. Turf grasses, shrubs, vegetables and roses also benefit from the use of cottonseed meal feed.