At the heart of the science of agronomy is the issue of increasing yields and growing healthy crops with high nutritional value. While the debate between organic and inorganic fertilizers will continue, one fact is clear.
When it comes to feeding a hungry world, inorganic fertilizers are unmatched in their ability to provide high levels of plant nutrients in an efficient and economical way. Understanding their differences helps us all understand how to use agronomy and crop production techniques properly.
Plants fed a strict diet of organic fertilizers are not necessarily healthier to eat than plants fed conventional or factory-made fertilizers. The nutritional quality of food is controlled by the proportional amount and balance of nutrients supplied to the plant, not the nutrient source.
Fertilizers are made from organic or inorganic materials, of natural or synthetic origin, that are added to plant systems to provide one or more nutrients needed for healthy plant growth.
Fertilizers made from organic materials contain carbon and one or more essential plant nutrients, namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Animal manure, compost, sewage sludge, and by-products of processed animal and plant materials are the most common organic fertilizers.
On the other hand, carbon is usually not part of the basic chemical structure of inorganic fertilizers. Inorganic fertilizers, commonly referred to as artificial, commercial, synthetic, or mineral fertilizers, are made from naturally occurring compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
We all need access to healthy and nutritious food. Agronomy is the science of plant cultivation, plant physiology and growing healthy plants with high nutritional value.