Which Fertilizer To Use – Organic or Inorganic?

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Published: 24th April 2009
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Fertilizers are chemical compounds or substance that contain elements which are necessary for the growth of plant and flowers. There are mainly two types of fertilizers organic and inorganic. Organic fertilizers are those which are made through natural process like decomposed plants such as manure, worm castings, peat moss, seaweed, sewage and guano, whereas inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical process. They are in the form of simple compounds mainly of nitrogen, phosphate and potash.

Organic fertilizers contain essential nutrients that encourage plant growth. Inorganic fertilizers consist of various combination of salts and supply plants with necessary nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These fertilizers are also called NPK fertilizers. Ammonia is also used in making fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulphate.

Inorganic or chemical fertilizers are available in powdered form and when mixed with water they can be used by plants immediately. Whereas organic fertilizers cannot be used immediately and requires some sort of action by the micro life (bacteria, earthworm, fungi) which breaks down the matter (bone, algae, seeds, leaves) and convert them to the form, which can be used by the plants.

It is believed that organic fertilizers are more environment-friendly and better maintain soil organic matter levels than inorganic fertilizers as inorganic fertilizers can have long term adverse effects on the organisms living in the soil and can also affect the productivity of the soil. Organic fertilizers provide increased physical and biological storage mechanisms to soils, thus lessens the risk of over-fertilization. They are just a by product of some other other already existing product like bone, seed, cotton or kelp and they don't get washed away like chemical fertilizers.

Compounds of nitrogen is essential for the growth and development of plant leaves and stems as they making proteins for the plant but the excess use of nitrogen fertilizers can severely harm our environment. High application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers, in order to gain maximum crop yields, combined with high solubility property of these fertilizers often leads to increased leaching of nitrates into groundwater. The nitrate-enriched groundwater makes way into lakes, bays and oceans and hence disrupts the normal functioning of the our ecological system.

Using ammonium nitrate in inorganic fertilizers is more damaging as plants prefer to absorb ammonium ions over nitrate ions. The excess nitrate ions get dissolved into groundwater and other waterways by rain or irrigation, leading to eutrophication (which may cause water to become cloudy and/or discolored--green, yellow, brown, or red) .

Excess use of fertilizers cause damage to the plant, roots and can cause plant burn. Both organic and inorganic fertilizers can cause plant burn. A major environmental problem is also arising due to the use of toxic fertilizers. These are recycled industrial waste that contain toxic elements like mercury, lead, and arsenic. The yield that we get from such fields may also contain harmful chemicals.

Plants need macro nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium along with micro nutrients like like iron, manganese, sulphur, which is there in abundance in the soil for there growth. One can use both organic or inorganic fertilizer to get the desired yield. But I would recommend the use of organic fertilizers because I believe that the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticide in one way or the other is going to harm our environment and in turn, our health.

Recently on the internet, I have come across a good source of information related to agriculture, http://www.agriculturalproductsindia.com/ This website carries extensive information on fertilizers and different agricultural products and I would suggest it to anyone interested in knowing more about agro products, agricultural machinery and all other things related to agriculture.

Mr. Langeh is offering advice for quite some time. Having completed his Master's from reputed Indian University. He provide useful advice through his articles that have been found very useful. To find more details visit http://www.agriculturalproductsindia.com/

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