Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Fertilizer can improve plants’ growth and yield.
Fertilizer is first used in soil by ancient farmers. When the chemicals that plants need when growing are discovered, fertilizer technology is developed significantly. Then the start use of modern science of plant nutrition dates to the 19th century.
Modern synthetic fertilizers are composed mainly of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium compounds with secondary nutrients added. The use of synthetic fertilizers has significantly improved the quality and quantity of the food available today, although their long-term use is debated by environmentalists.
The soil can provide the basic chemicals nutrients for plants growing. But the supply of these components in soil is limited, and after plants are harvested, it dwindles, causing a reduction in the quality and yield of plants. Fertilizers can provide the chemical components that are taken by growing plants to improve the growing potential of soil, and create a better growing environment than natural soil.
Fertilizer can also be compounded and processed to suit the crop growing. Generally speaking, the primary components in fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium nutrients are nutrients which are vital for plant growth. Plants use nitrogen in the synthesis of proteins, nucleic acids, and hormones. When plants are nitrogen deficient, they are marked by reduced growth and yellowing of leaves. Plants also need phosphorus, a component of nucleic acids, phospholipids, and several proteins. It is also necessary to provide the energy to drive metabolic chemical reactions. Without enough phosphorus, plant growth is reduced. Potassium is another major substance that plants get from the soil. It is used in protein synthesis and other key plant processes. Yellowing, spots of dead tissue, and weak stems and roots are all indicative of plants that lack enough potassium.
Fertilizer also contains trace elements in small amounts that improve the growth of plants, such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The micronutrients include iron, chlorine, copper, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, and boron. While they may be present in small amounts, they are also important to plant growth, and without them plants can die.
An effective fertilizer need for the essential nutrients which is provided by many different substances. These compounds can be mined or separated from naturally occurring sources, such as sodium nitrate, seaweed, bones, guano, potash, and phosphate rock. Compounds can also be chemically synthesized from basic raw materials. These would include such things as ammonia, urea, nitric acid, and ammonium phosphate. Since these compounds exist in a number of physical states, fertilizers can be sold as solids, liquids, or slurries.