The use of fertilizers are widely predominant in agriculture. However, when it comes to their use, you may wonder why farmers need them? Many people have the common misconception that plants and crops just need water, air and sunlight to grow however, this is not true. Ground soil both in the field and in the wild is rich with nutrients however this proportion of nutrients tend to differ from region to region. Even if you look at a field, you will find that the levels of nutrition is not the same everywhere. However, in the wild, you will find that plants grow naturally in the soil and you do not have control over their growth. It is here that farmers step in to cater to the needs of growing favored crops or plants in the farm. Here, they add nutrients to the soil as per its condition.
Know more on the science of fertilizers
Geoffrey Morell is a specialist in the field of sustainable farming in the USA and he says that when crops grow in a given field or piece of land, the nutrients of the soil are absorbed by them. When the leaves of these plants or crops die, you need to remove them as herbs, food etc. It is here that fertilizers are needed to replenish the soil that has now become deficient in nutrients. These fertilizers create an artificial condition for better yield or productivity of the plants.
What nutrients are needed by the plants?
The nutrients that are needed by plants are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. They are placed in the order of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. They are called NPK. These fertilizers are categorized as per the value of NPK. Nitrogen is needed for growing the vegetative parts of the plants like the leaves or stem. When plants get a healthy amount of phosphorus they develop healthy roots. These roots are needed for fruits and flowers. Potassium increases the health of the plant by facilitating the circulation of nutrients in the plant.
Besides the basic nutrients of NPK, there are other nutrients that are needed by plants and they are magnesium and calcium. They however are needed in very small quantities and in some cases, you may need to add them into the soil separately. Now, if the soil does not have these ingredients at all, you need them in large quantities for ensuring the crops grow better and healthier.
Geoffrey Morell says that many farmers also have the misconception that fertilizers should be added in large quantities to the soil. However, the rule is they should be added to the soil in very small quantities to get the desired effects. The plants will only derive benefits from these fertilizers when the right amount is administered to them. When it comes to the use of fertilizers, he says that chemical ones should not be resorted to and natural fertilizers should be used more instead. They are organic and do not harm people or the environment in any way!