INORGANIC FERTILIZERS are manmade chemical substances that are used to supply plants with nutrients.
Inorganic fertilizers can be classified as:-
(i) Straight fertilizers/single
These supply only one nutrient element e.g. SSP, TSP, M.O.P which supply only phosphorous or Nitrogen.
(ii) Compound fertilizers
These supply more than one nutrient element to plants e.g. C.A.N, NPK and DAP, these supply both N and P.
(iii) Complete fertilizers
These fertilizers supply all the three primary nutrients e.g. N.P.K
Advantages of inorganic fertilizers
The amounts of plant nutrients they contain can easily be estimated.
Inorganic fertilizers are made up of chemical compounds that contain known amounts of plant nutrients. This makes it easy to calculate how much fertilizer to apply to a given area. This is important for ensuring that plants get the nutrients they need without over-fertilizing, which can damage plants.
When applied they readily release nutrients
Inorganic fertilizers are water-soluble, which means that they dissolve easily in water. This allows the nutrients to be quickly absorbed by plants. This is important for ensuring that plants get the nutrients they need as soon as possible.
They are easy to handle and store because they come in convenient packages.
Inorganic fertilizers are typically packaged in bags or drums that are easy to transport and store. This makes them convenient for farmers and other users.
They are specific and so allow application of only the required nutrients.
Inorganic fertilizers can be formulated to contain specific nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This allows farmers to apply only the nutrients that their crops need, which can help to reduce environmental pollution.
They can easily be combined with irrigation water and applied at once
Inorganic fertilizers can be easily mixed with irrigation water and applied at once. This is a convenient way to apply fertilizer, especially for large areas.
In addition to these advantages, inorganic fertilizers are also relatively inexpensive and can be produced in large quantities. This makes them a popular choice for farmers and other users.
However, there are also some disadvantages to inorganic fertilizers. One disadvantage is that they can pollute waterways if they are not applied properly. Another disadvantage is that they can leach into the soil, making them unavailable to plants.
Overall, inorganic fertilizers have both advantages and disadvantages. They are a convenient and effective way to apply nutrients to plants, but they should be used carefully to avoid environmental pollution.
Examples of inorganic fertilizers
Nitrogen fertilizers: These fertilizers contain nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. They are typically applied to the soil and quickly dissolve in water, making the nitrogen available to plants. Examples of nitrogen fertilizers include ammonium nitrate, urea, and anhydrous ammonia.
Phosphorus fertilizers: These fertilizers contain phosphorus, which is another essential nutrient for plant growth. They are typically applied to the soil and slowly release phosphorus over time. Examples of phosphorus fertilizers include superphosphate, triple superphosphate, and rock phosphate.
Potassium fertilizers: These fertilizers contain potassium, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. They are typically applied to the soil and slowly release potassium over time. Examples of potassium fertilizers include potassium chloride, potassium sulfate, and potassium nitrate.
Micronutrient fertilizers: These fertilizers contain micronutrients, which are nutrients that are needed by plants in small amounts. They are typically applied to the soil and slowly release the micronutrients over time. Examples of micronutrient fertilizers include iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, and manganese sulfate.
Inorganic fertilizers can be mixed together to create custom blends that meet the specific needs of plants. They can also be applied to plants in a variety of ways, including broadcast application, band application, and foliar application.
What is the difference between inorganic fertilizer and organic fertilizer?
The main difference between inorganic and organic fertilizers is their source. Inorganic fertilizers are made from synthetic chemicals, while organic fertilizers are made from natural sources, such as animal manure, plant waste, and compost.
Here is a table summarizing the key differences between inorganic and organic fertilizers:
|Characteristic||Inorganic Fertilizer||Organic Fertilizer|
|Source||Synthetic chemicals||Natural sources|
|Nutrient content||High levels of nutrients||Lower levels of nutrients|
|Release rate||Quick release||Slow release|
|Environmental impact||Can pollute waterways and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions||Can improve soil health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions|
|Cost||Less expensive||More expensive|
|Availability||More widely available||Less widely available|
drive_spreadsheetExport to Sheets
Inorganic fertilizers are typically more water-soluble than organic fertilizers, which means that they release their nutrients more quickly. This can be an advantage for plants that need a quick boost of nutrients, but it can also lead to nutrient runoff and pollution if the fertilizers are not applied correctly.
Organic fertilizers release their nutrients more slowly, which can be an advantage for plants that need a more sustained supply of nutrients. Organic fertilizers can also help to improve soil health by adding organic matter and stimulating beneficial soil microbes.
The best type of fertilizer for a particular plant will depend on the plant’s needs, the climate, and the soil type. It is important to consult with a gardening expert or read the fertilizer label carefully to choose the right fertilizer for your plants.
Here are some additional things to consider when choosing between inorganic and organic fertilizers:
- The type of plants you are growing: Some plants, such as vegetables, need a higher level of nutrients than other plants, such as ornamental plants.
- The climate: Inorganic fertilizers can be more effective in hot, dry climates, while organic fertilizers can be more effective in cool, wet climates.
- The soil type: Organic fertilizers can help to improve the structure of clay soils, while inorganic fertilizers can help to improve the drainage of sandy soils.
- Your budget: Inorganic fertilizers are typically less expensive than organic fertilizers.
Ultimately, the best way to choose between inorganic and organic fertilizers is to consider the specific needs of your plants and your budget.