Nutrient Management Support for Organic Growers

Effectively managing organic nutrient sources is a challenge. Sources like compost often don’t supply the correct ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium needed by plants. It’s easy for growers to apply too much compost when meeting nitrogen needs.

Managing organic nutrient sources is more complicated because they have to go through the process of mineralization to become usable by plants, according to Elsa Sánchez, associate professor of horticultural systems management. “It’s tricky to know when and how much to apply for good crop yields so that there’s not an excess accumulation of nutrients.”

A publication titled “Using Organic Nutrient Sources” is available through Penn State Extension offices or by contacting the college’s Publications Distribution Center at 814-865-6713 or by e-mail at

A related online-only publication, “Deciding Which Organic Nutrients to Use and How Much to Apply,” is also available at