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Fertilizers

  • By: Stephen T. Schroth & Jason A. Helfer
  • In: Green Health: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Oladele Ogunseitan
  • Subject:Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Geography of Health

Agriculture is a major industry in almost all parts of the world, important not only for its financial benefits but also because of its necessity in feeding the population. Raising crops takes valuable nutrients out of the soil, and farmers frequently use fertilizers to replenish these to promote plant growth. The chief nutrients provided by fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, although other nutrients are sometimes added as well. Both inorganic and organic fertilizers are available, and both have relative advantages and disadvantages. As a larger number of consumers become interested in purchasing and using food that is environmentally sustainable, discussions regarding the relative merits of inorganic and organic fertilizers have intensified. Additionally, the use of any sort of fertilizer may impact the surrounding environment, ...

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