In order to grow and eventually harvest healthy crops, plants need various nutrients from the soil such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. When these are missing or in short supply, crops suffer from nutrient deficiency and stop growing. To avoid this, farmers turn to fertilizers because they contain the necessary plant nutrients to supplement the natural soil nutrients.
Fertilizer is an essential agricultural commodity that allows us to mass-produce food on a large enough scale. It has provided us with a way to increase yields without increasing land mass. It achieves this by boosting the amount of nitrogen – one of the five basic needs of plants – in the soil.
Types of fertilizer
There are many different varieties of fertilizer but the main way of categorising them is by the type of nutrients they deliver to the soil. The three main nutrients in fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This gives us 3 categories that you should know about:
If you are into farming and want to increase your crop yield and improve poor-quality land, you can shop a wide variety of fertilizers from this category.
Fertilisers are formulations which may contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compounds to promote plant growth. Fertilisers that supply all three elements are often called NPK fertilisers, after the chemical symbols for these three elements.
A fertilizer or fertiliser is any material of natural or synthetic origin that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply plant nutrients. Fertilizers may be distinct from liming materials or other non-nutrient soil amendments. Many sources of fertilizer exist, both natural and industrially produced.
The Different Types of Fertilizers
Fertilizers replace the nutrients that crops remove from the soil. Without the addition of fertilizers, crop yields and agricultural productivity would be significantly reduced. That's why mineral fertilizers are used to supplement the soil's nutrient stocks with minerals that can be quickly absorbed and used by crops.
The most widely applied fertilizer grades are urea and 16-20-0. Urea is mainly used as a nitrogen source whilst 16-20-0 is applied primarily as a source of phosphorus. In some areas 18-46-0, and less commonly 14-14-14, are used instead of 16-20-0. Potassium is normally not regarded as a limiting nutrient.