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There are two parts to the word 'nutrition':
MINERAL Essential Nutrition
ENERGY Critical Nutrition

"Organic" and "Biological" farmers place a strong emphasis on growing their own nitrogen, soil aeration and building carbon in the form of humus in their soils. They compost and recycle C, H, O & N in the farm system.

Standard or "Conventional" farmers place a strong emphasis on the NPK theory and replacing what they remove, however it takes more than just a few key elements to grow healthy soil, healthy plants and healthy animals.


"Air-born" elements: providing water [H2O] & 'energy' nutrition. i.e. carbon, hydrogen, oxygen & nitrogen.

ENERGY NUTRIENTS = Critical Nutrition

Energy is like petrol to a motor.
Energy is the main fuel we use to drive the human body and produce plants, milk etc..

ENERGY comes from four "Air-born" elements

  1. carbon [C]
  2. hydrogen [H]
  3. oxygen [O]
  4. nitrogen [N]
These elements form the basis of :
  • carb o hydrates [Carb - Carbon, o - Oxygen, hydrate - Hydrogen] &
  • proteins which contain carbon, oxygen, hydrogen plus nitrogen.
These elements are synthesised by living organisms to manufacture carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which provide energy [and heat] to living organisms.


"Soil-born" elements; provide essential 'mineral' nutrition.
They include Ca, Mg, P, S, Na, Cu, Mn, Fe, B etc.
These elements cannot be synthesised and so must be present from another source.


Nutrition involves the supply and absorption of chemical compounds required by living organisms [Mengel & Kirkby, 1987]. These chemical compounds can be divided into two general categories being mineral [essential] nutrition and energy [critical] nutrition.

Energy is the driving force in Agri-Nutrition. Minerals are the building blocks in Agri-Nutrition.

  • ENERGY = Critical Nutrition = "Air-born" elements = C, H, O & N.
  • MINERAL = Essential Nutrition = "Soil-born" elements = Ca, Mg, P, S etc.
The information contained in this publication has been formulated in good faith, the contents do not take into account all the factors which need to be considered before putting that information into practice. Accordingly, no person should rely on anything contained herein as a substitute for specific professional advice.
S.O.S. Rev 9.2 All rights reserved. Contact: www.healthyag.com © Gwyn Jones 2001

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