Organic Fertilizers vs Chemical Fertilizers

From beginning of human history through the 1940's, crops were grown without the assistance of fertilizers. The fertility of the land was maintained by the re-absorption of the nutrients from the decomposing organic matter in the soil. In the late 1940's, chemical fertilizer was introduced on a wide scale and was believed to increase crop yields while lowering input costs. However, it was soon discovered that the constant use of chemicals destroyed a farm's soil composition to a point where microorganisms, essential for the normal growth of healthy soil and the plants it supported, could not regenerate naturally.

The reason for this rapid disintegration of soil is that chemical fertilizers lack the essential ingredients that protect the long term productivity of the soil. These destructive chemicals, consumed over time, ultimately lead to an increase of toxins in the soils of farms and eventually in the human body. It has been scientifically proven that these toxins contribute to health problems such as cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, poor immune functions, colds and flues and asthma. Also, the mere introduction of chemical pesticides which are designed to kill living organisms harmful to plants have also destroyed the natural evolution of the plants defense mechanism due to their high toxicity. Besides cancer, pesticides are also known to cause birth defects, genetic mutations and nerve damage.

On the contrary, organic fertilizers contain nutrients that are derived from the remains of an organism. Organic fertilizers provide a slow release of nutrients, as micro-organisms in the soil break down the organic material into an inorganic, water soluble form which plants then use. In addition, small amounts of organic fertilizer can also have a major impact on the growth and productivity of the crops. Statistics show 10 to 35 percent increase in the crop yields after using organic fertilizers.

Compared to chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers contain relatively low concentrations of actual nutrients, but they perform important functions which the chemical fertilizers do not. Organic fertilizers increase the organic content and consequently the water-holding capacity of the soil. They also improve the physical structure of the soil which allows more air to circulate through a plant. When organic materials are used as fertilizer, bacterial and fungal activity increases in the soil and makes other nutrients more available to plants and thus allows plants and crops to thrive. Organically derived plant nutrients are slow to leach from the soil, making them less likely to contribute to water pollution than chemical fertilizers.

Major advantages of using organic fertilizers:

  • Improves the physical structure of the soil.
  • Increases soil nutrients available for plants and crops.
  • Increases water saturation to the soil.
  • Regulates the temperature of the soil.
  • Stabilizes the pH value in the soil.
  • Improves soils resistance to erosion.
  • Continuously provides nitrogen and carbon to the soil.
  • Fastens the yield time, and increases crop quality and taste.
  • Encourages the early maturity of the crops.
  • Increases the storage life of harvested products.
  • Promotes a plants resistance to pest and diseases.

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