The use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture and its negative consequences!

Chemical fertilisers’ disadvantages and effects, common types, and the advantages of organic or natural fertilisers are expounded in this post. Fertiliser is an organic or artificial, chemical-based compound with one or several nutrients that are important for plant development and soil health. Almost all of the synthetic fertilisers that people utilise are NPK fertilisers, which are high in nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). Fertilisers may also add secondary nutrients like calcium, sulphur, and magnesium to the soil or rising environments they are added to. Nitrogen fertilisers are nitrogen-containing organic compounds that provide plants with nitrogen sustenance. There are four different varieties of them, including Amide fertilisers: e.g. Urea, Ammonium Fertilisers: e.g. Ammonium sulphate, Nitrate and Ammonium Fertilisers: e.g. Ammonium sulphate, and Nitrate Fertilisers: e.g. Sodium nitrate. Phosphatic fertilisers are organic substances that contain phosphorus and provide phosphorous nutrition to plants. Calcium dihydrogen phosphate, ammonium phosphate, and ammonium hydrogen phosphate are some of these. Potassium fertilisers are organic chemicals that contain potassium and provide potassium nourishment to plants. Potassium chloride, potassium sulphate, and potassium nitrate are examples.

Disadvantages and effects of Chemical fertilisers

Chemical fertilisers have a significant impact on the health of soil microorganisms. Chemical fertilisers’ acidity alters the pH of the soil and causes it to become acidic, affecting the kind of beneficial microorganisms that can dwell there. Using chemical fertilisers for an extended period of time increases pests and kills beneficial bacteria in the soil. Chemical fertilisers are very soluble in water; thus, they drain into the groundwater and do not benefit the plant fully, and as a result, the plant has fewer nutrients accessible. Chemical fertilisers leach into the water, polluting it, and these chemicals also penetrate the subsoil, where they combine with clay to generate hardpan, which are impenetrable layers. As a result, the soil becomes compacted. Chemical fertilisers’ disadvantages and effects include contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. This effect occurs when a higher concentration of chemical fertiliser is employed than the plants can conveniently accept.

Disadvantages and effects of Chemical fertilisers continued

Chemical fertilisers significantly contribute to the widespread of plant disease. Chemical fertilisers with a rapid release have a higher nitrogen content than organic fertilisers with a gradual release. When nitrogen (N) is in excess of phosphate (P), plants become more vulnerable to mosaic diseases. Excessive usage of these fertilisers has been shown to harm beneficial bacteria in the soil.  While fertilisers aid in plant growth, they do little for the soil. When chemical fertilisers are utilised in excess for an extended period of time, the soil becomes depleted of trace nutrients. Chemical fertilisers’ disadvantages and effects entail food produced in soils with a lower vitamin and mineral value than other foods. Toxic chemicals have an impact on the lives of helpful soil microbes, which are critical for soil fertility maintenance. Additionally, these pollutants have had a detrimental effect on the atmosphere, groundwater, and people and wildlife health, both directly and indirectly. As a result, sustaining the soil’s vitality is critical for everyone and everything on this planet earth. Avoiding artificial fertilisers favouring natural ones, including green manure, biopesticides, bio-fertilisers, and vermicompost, along with nurturing the soil and surrounding ecosystem, can be a reliable solution to crop yields.

Advantages of organic or natural fertilisers

Manure is a natural or organic material that is formed when microorganisms, earthworms, and fungi decompose plant and animal leftovers. Chemical fertilisers’ disadvantages and effects contain causing the soil to become depleted of significant nutrients. Manure enriches the soil with humus, or organic matter, and progressively increases crop output. Due to its insoluble nature in water, plants gradually take it up. There are no adverse consequences or contamination associated with manure use—for example, green manure, compost, and so forth. Organic fertilisers do not flow off as readily, if at all, and are more closely related to soil structure. As stated by the Organic Trade Association, organic fertiliser also improves species biodiversity by 30% compared to synthetic fertiliser. While organic fertiliser seems more expensive than synthetic fertiliser, it can help minimise pesticide use and overall nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium necessities. So, organic fertiliser can indeed be cost-neutral or even cost-saving due to the reductions of these pesticides. To summarise, organic farming is critical for the sustainability of all life on this planet.