What are the benefits of fertilizers?

Written by steve johnson
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What are the benefits of fertilizers?
Crops (crops in rows image by david hughes from Fotolia.com)

Fertilisers are normally chemical substances that are added to the soil to boost plant growth and increase production. Fertilisers are broadly classified into organic and chemical fertilisers. Currently, organic fertilisers are preferred over chemical fertilisers due to the harmful effects of the latter.

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Slow Release of Nutrients

When organic fertilisers are applied to soil, micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi present in the soil act upon it and undergo processes that release nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and copper. All these ingredients are present in the fertiliser and provide the adequate amount of nutrients required by the plant to grow. This helps provide to the steady growth of the plant irrespective of a change in weather and soil temperature.

Increase Soil Fertility

Organic fertilisers help in restoring and preserving the fertility of soil. They use the microbes present in the soil to produce the essential nutrients for the plant and in turn encourage growth and long lasting fertility of the soil. They also prevent soil erosion and improve the structure of the soil---allowing for better plant or crop growth during future seasons.

Environmentally Friendly

Organic fertilisers are biodegradable and can be recycled and reused continuously and thus help to prevent land pollution. They are derived from natural, leftover products and wastes; therefore, they provide consumers with healthy and harmless food, protecting them from diseases, such as skin allergies, cancers, and other disorders which can result from chemicals and toxins found in some chemical fertilisers.

As they increase the fertility of the soil, the land can be used over and over again for cultivation, which prevents the cutting of forest for more land.

Availability and Economical

Organic fertilisers can be produced in farms on small scales by using dead leaves and plants, wild weeds, kitchen waste, cow dung, fish bone and blood. As they are easily available on most farms, they can be produced with very little money.

Chemical Fertilizers

Chemical fertilisers have few benefits over organic fertilisers. They contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in equal amounts and their Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium---also known as NPK ratio---is 60 per cent as compared to the 14 per cent NPK ratio of organic fertilisers. Chemical fertilisers are ideal in cases of less fertile soil. Sometimes, plants need immediate nutrition, which can be achieved by adding chemical fertilisers.

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