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Many are synthesized from oil, their production requires a significant investment of fossil fuels, and when they run off into streams or lakes, they can cause further problems.Algae blooms (the sudden growth of underwater plants) encouraged by agricultural run-off can consume oxygen needed by fish and other organisms. There are several organic fertilizer benefits, some purely altruistic, others much more self-interested.
First of all, most inorganic fertilizers provide only that well-known trio, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
These three, known as the macro-nutrients, are indeed required in greater quantity than any others, but they are only three of the thirteen nutrients plants need.
Scientists have discovered how plants harness microbes in soil to get nutrients, a process that could be exploited to boost crop growth, fight weeds and slash the use of polluting fertilizers and ...
Compostable food containers seem like a great idea: They degrade into nutrient-rich organic matter, reducing waste and the need for chemical fertilizers. Schomburgk's deer (Rucervus schomburgki) was added to the extinction list in 1938.
Earthworms not only provide perhaps the best compost available, but they also help aerate soil when they tunnel through it.
Without them, soil becomes increasingly compacted, unless deeply cultivated — which is also bad for them and for soil structure.
One source compares it to being fed intravenously; over time, the digestive tract will grow weak from disuse.
Pure chemicals will make soil less nutritious, and lessen the plants’ ability to access nutrition.
That sudden decrease is of course hard on plants, so growers tend to relieve it by providing another dose — and another.
Finally, chemical fertilizers are hard on the environment.