What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fertilizers?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fertilizers?

Postby heathcliff29 » November 9th, 2011, 4:07 am

Can anyone tell me the advantages and disadvantages of using fertilizers from the economical, environmental and political point of view.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fertilizers?

Postby chalfan » November 9th, 2011, 4:09 am

Many types of fertilizers use hatch chemicals, thus causing a negative reaction on the environment. What do you think happens to the food that is grown with contaminated chemicals? Not good.
This would prove harsh on the economic viewpoint. It would essentially cost more money to fix this problem because more people would become ill from the consumption of contaminated food. Politically, there are big name companies (Tyson, Butter Bean, Monsanto Seed) That have been known to use harsh chemicals (such as chlorine, bleach) to clean their vegetables and seeds. This has sparked a huge political debate among anti-big business and small farmers who are going into huge debt because of these companies.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fertilizers?

Postby davian18 » November 9th, 2011, 4:21 am

I hate to disagree with Crystal, but given the choice between eating fruits and vegetables washed with chlorine to remove harmful bacteria or eating dirty stuff and getting e-coli or listeria, I'll take the chlorine every time. Besides, I bet Crystal drinks chlorinated water.

Plant nutrients are the same whether if comes in a commercial fertilizer source or an organic source. N,P and K are all the same no matter what their source is. Using fertilizers from any source increase yields, meaning more production from fewer acres. Discontinue fertilizer use and it would require many, many more acres to be cultivated. Those additional acres would have to be more fragile soils (as in erosion), wetlands drained, forested land cleared, land currently supporting wildlife, etc. The more acres under cultivation, the greater the use of fossil fuels to cultivate that land.

Disadvantages of any organic or inorganic fertilizer is that misuse, overapplication or application at the wrong time of year can result in the nutrients entering water sources. This can cause excessive aquatic plant growth or as in the case of nitrogen, "blue baby syndrome" (look it up).

Politics? People are politics, plain and simple. If you want to eat, you can either grow it yourself, pay me to grow it or starve. If I can't make any money growing a certain crop, then I won't. If you want me to grow you that crop, then you better make it financially worth my while to do so because I can't pay my bills by doing charity work for you. That's politics. Regardless of whether it's growing food, building cars or running Yahoo Answers, there's always going to be someone doing the work and there will always be someone making money. Sometimes those are the same person, other times not. That's the way it is and the way it has always been ever since the first caveman traded a handful of berries he picked in exchange for a wooden club someone else made. Monsanto and Tyson are no different than GM or Hasbro. If they can make money building a product we want, they'll do so. When the demand is no longer there and we stop buying it, then they will stop making that product and look for or invent something that we will buy. It's called business but it's human politics just the same.
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