The second factor in nutrient use efficiency in Mulders Chart. The third component to nutrient use efficiency is Liebig’s Law of the Minimum that states the local yield of terrestrial plants should be limited by the nutrient present in the environment in the least quantity relative to its demands for plant growth. Simply put, the least available nutrient will determine plant productivity. This limitation can be from a lack of quantity, or more commonly in this industry, via nutrient competition as outlined on the Mulders chart.
For example; Soluble P in soils is often in the micromolar concentration range, and it is the only P that plants can use. The forms of soluble P are H2PO4- and HPO42-, which the ratio between them is dependent upon pH. At pH 7.2, they are present in equal concentrations. At pH 6.2, the ratio H2PO4- : HPO42- is 10:1, and at pH 8.2, 1:10. Our research shows an ideal ratio of 10:1, and therefore, 6.2 pH is an ideal target at the root/soil interface to balance intracellular pH.
Having a balanced mineral formula that accounts for the nutritional value of every additive is essential not only for maximizing genetic potential but for limiting waste from over-fertilization. Deficiencies in tissues don’t automatically mean you need to add more of an element. It may just be that pH or antagonism is the cause, and so measures need to be taken to avoid correction in the wrong direction.