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Pros & Cons of Fertilizers

Fertilisers are soil amendments that are applied to promote plant growth. The main fertiliser nutrients are phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium (the macronutrients). Fertilisers are usually directly applied to soil, but can also be sprayed on leaves (foliar feeding).

However, fertilisers sometimes become a source of controversy as they have both advantages and disadvantages.

Improves Soil Nutrition

Fertiliser is known to improve the quality of soil. It improves the structure of the soil and helps it hold moisture for a long time. It also mobilises the existing nutrients of soil, releases nitrogen and prevents soil erosion. Fertilisers containing phosphorus produce larger fruits with larger yields. The roots grow healthier as well.

Soil Poisoning

Improper dosage can lead to soil contamination, which in turn can burn plants and poison water. Fertiliser should be used sparingly and only at levels recommended by its manufacturer (not more). In addition, adding more fertiliser to already fertilised soil can be excessive. For that matter, testing the soil for nutrient content is very important.

Runoff

Often, fertiliser inserted in certain areas is washed away into rivers and other areas where it was not intended. In this case, it doesn't produce the desired effect, and is harmful. For example, bacteria in organic fertilisers and phosphorous and nitrogen in chemical fertilisers can cause excess algae bloom in waterways and harm the quality of the drinking water.

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About the Author

Eliah Sekirin started writing newspaper articles in 2003. His work has appeared in "Junij Poliyehnik" and on Web sites such as Prepodi.com. His writing interests are business, finance, economics, politics, arts, history, culture and information technology. Eliah holds a Bachelor of Science in econometrics from Kiev Polytechnic Institute.