If you've recently started a small commercial farm, you may be wondering if there's any real benefit to using organic nitrogen fertilizer or if you should simply stick with the conventional variety. You may be asking yourself if it really matters if plant nutrients come from an organic or chemical source. While nitrogen is an essential component of optimal health for the vast majority of agricultural crops, many experts believe that organic nitrogen fertilizer is more efficient than its chemical counterpart in a variety of ways. Here's what you need to know about organic fertilizer.
Organic Fertilizer Contains Natural Ingredients
One of the biggest problems with synthetic fertilizers is that they contain a lot of ingredients that don't occur naturally in the soil, and this can damage soil over an extended period of time. Inorganic nitrogen is often applied in the form of nitrogen salts, which can build up after repeated use to the extent that it leaves the soil essentially dried out and lifeless.
Organic Fertilizers Don't Damage the Surrounding Environment
Whether it comes from irrigation or rainfall, runoff is a given any time you're growing a crop. Synthetic fertilizers enter the waterways as the result of runoff, potentially harming marine life and polluting local water supplies. Organic fertilizers contain only natural compounds that are already found in healthy soils, and because they release those nutrients slowly, runoff doesn't contain large amounts of them.
Organic Fertilizers Help Build Healthy Soils
Organic matter helps soil microbes thrive — and these microbes are key to building and maintaining good soil structure and good overall soil health. Unlike synthetic fertilizer, organic fertilizer contains carbon, which is an essential element for maintaining good levels of soil microbes.
Organic Fertilizer Helps Prevent Fertilizer Burn
Fertilizer burn is a condition where the edges of the leaves turn brown and drop off. In most cases, this condition can be rectified by simply leaving the plants alone for the next several weeks except for giving them necessary water, but sometimes, fertilizer burn can result in total crop losses. Because organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly, the risk of fertilizer burn is lower.
Organic Fertilizers May Not Offer Immediate Results
If you're looking for a nearly immediate flush of fresh green growth, an organic fertilizer may not deliver. They're designed to promote long-term soil health rather than fast fixes. Although quick green growth can be desirable with certain crops such as baby lettuces, overly fast growth generally depletes the nutrients necessary for plants to grow longterm.
For more information, contact an organic nitrogen fertilizer supplier.