Potassium, calcium, and magnesium converted from organic to inorganic compounds during mineralization have similar reactions in the soil. Upon dissolution, they become cations that are attracted to negatively charged soil particles and soil organic matter. These minerals are made available for plant growth through the cation exchange process. Potassium is less mobile than nitrogen and more mobile than phosphorus. Leaching losses of potassium are not significant and have little potential to contaminate ground water. Calcium and magnesium can leach into ground water or aquifers, but they do not constitute a hazard to water quality.
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