Fertilizers are chemical compounds applied to promote plant growth. Typically, fertilizers are applied either to the soil (for uptake by plant roots) or by foliar feeding (for uptake through leaves).

Fertilizers can be placed into the categories of organic and inorganic fertilizers (composed of simple chemicals and minerals). Organic fertilizers are 'naturally' occurring compounds manufactured through, a natural processes. Inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical processes using naturally occurring deposits, while chemically altering them e.g. concentrated triple superphosphate.

Organic fertilizers contain essential nutrients to improve the health and productivity of soil and encourage plant growth. Organic nutrients increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, which aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Chemical fertilizers may have long-term adverse impact on the organisms living in soil and a detrimental long term effect on soil productivity of the soil.

Fertilizers are used to enhance and alleviate the nutrient deficiencies in the land. The use of fertilizers hence ascertains the increase in the rate of crop. The most commonly used compounds in fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.


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