The Role of Fertilizers in Agriculture
Sustainable agriculture is the farmers’ ability for producing food without affecting the environment as well as the surrounding ecosystem. There are a few issues which are connected to agriculture and one of them is the biophysical issue. It is linked with activities like fertilizer usage, use of artificial nutrients and crop rotation along with the availability of resources like sunlight, water and wind.
While all these factors are equally important for plant growth, fertilizers are given extra importance, as they are the ones that help plants in the initial stages of growth. Fertilizers are materials of synthetic or natural origin which are applied to the plant tissues or soil for supplying plant nutrients crucial to plant growth. Fertilizers are meant for enhancing plant growth. The objective is met in 2 different ways:
1.Additives for providing nutrients,
2.And fertilizers for enhancing soil’s effectiveness by modifying aeration and water retention.
When it comes to fertilizers, Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus are the 3 main elements or macronutrients. Nitrogen helps in leaf growth, whereas potassium aids sturdy stem growth, water movement and promotion of fruiting and flowering. The nutrients needed for healthy growth of plants are classified based on the elements.
Fertilizers are applied to plants both as liquids and solids. Almost ninety percent of fertilizers are used as solids that are typically powdered or granulated. Liquid fertilizers consist of anhydrous ammonia, aqueous ammonium nitrate solutions or urea and so on. Such concentrated products can be diluted using water for forming concentrated liquid fertilizers. Also, liquid fertilizers have advantages like easier coverage and rapid effects. To be successful in agriculture, people need to know the basics of different fertilizers and their usage.