Fertilizers are defined in Brazilian legislation as “mineral or organic substances, natural or synthetic, that supply one or more plant nutrients”.

The chemical elements present in fertilizers (depending on the quantity or proportion) are divided into primary macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), secondary macronutrients (calcium, magnesium and sulfur) and micronutrients (boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, sodium, silicon and cobalt).

The best agricultural management practices (LDCs) are those that tend to reduce soil losses and decrease adverse environmental effects on water quality, caused by nutrients, animal waste and sediment. The fertilizer sector currently participates in PMAs designed to improve the efficient use of the nutrient and environmental protection, with the application of the correct product, the right dose, the right time and place. There is no universal set being specific to each location and culture and vary from one agricultural property to another, depending on factors such as soils, climatic conditions, crops, cultivation history and management skills.

Texture, type of clay and CTC, are factors, which added to the information regarding the content of nutrients in the soils and crop requirements, are of great importance in making decisions about the doses, mode and time of application of the fertilizer. Soil analysis is one of the main diagnostic tools for determining the application of fertilizer or corrective. Leaf analysis is another tool to detect nutritional problems in plants. O histórico da área a ser cultivada é outro fator de importância para maximizar a eficiência dos fertilizantes.