Letter: Know the difference in two types of fertilizers
Op-Ed · January 12, 2013

It is often necessary to add nutrients to the soil because the soilís natural nutrient levels are depleted.
If nutrients are not available for plants, they will not grow properly.

Fertilizer is a chemical or natural substance added to soil to increase the soils fertility.

There are two different ways to categorize fertilizer: chemical and natural fertilizer.

Chemical fertilizers are manufactured. They use inorganic compounds to concentrate desired nutrients. Some benefits of chemical fertilizers are that they are easy to apply, concentrated, readily available and formulated to plant needs. Disadvantages are that they are expensive and petroleum-based.

Natural fertilizers are made of manure, sludge, and compost. Animal manure contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Sludge is processed human waste. Composting can raise organic matter in the soil and reduce pathogens.

Both chemical and natural fertilizers provide necessary nutrients to soil for plant uptake.

It is important for our community to understand fertilizer use because of the importance of raising high yielding crops for food, fiber and fuel.

Kylie Hesseltine, FFA, West Branch High School

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