Fertilizer

Fertilizer

Fertilizer (or fertiliser) is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is added to soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Conservative estimates report 30 to 50% of crop yields are attributed to natural or synthetic commercial fertilizer. Global market value is likely to rise to more than US$185 billion until 2019.

Mined inorganic fertilizers have been used for many centuries, whereas chemically synthesized inorganic fertilizers were only widely developed during the industrial revolution. Increased understanding and use of fertilizers were important parts of the pre-industrial British Agricultural Revolution and the industrial Green Revolution of the 20th century.

Inorganic fertilizer use has also significantly supported global population growth — it has been estimated that almost half the people on the Earth are currently fed as a result of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use.

Fertilizers typically provide, in varying proportions:

  • six macronutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S);
  • eight micronutrients: boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn) and nickel (Ni) (1987).

The macronutrients are consumed in larger quantities and are present in plant tissue in quantities from 0.15% to 6.0% on a dry matter (0% moisture) basis (DM). Micronutrients are consumed in smaller quantities and are present in plant tissue on the order of parts per million (ppm), ranging from 0.15 to 400 ppm DM, or less than 0.04% DM.

Only three other structural elements are required by all plants: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These nutrients are supplied by water (through rainfall or irrigation) and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Below please find the available services for this specific product group.

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