BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FERTILIZERS
Nourishment of Soil and Plants
Organic fertilizers have many benefits when compared to chemical fertilizers. Macro-nutrients of organic fertilizers are organically bound and slowly released when applied in the soil. This means that plants have these nutrients available when they are needed. With chemical fertilizers, a lot of the applied nutrients leach out from the soil when coming in contact with moisture/water. This means that a large portion of the invested nutrients never reaches the plant and therefore never realizes a return on their investment. Next to slow-release macro-nutrients, organic fertilizers also contain micro-nutrients and trace elements which are lacking in chemical fertilizers. It’s actually these micro-nutrients and trace elements which are crucial for healthy plant development and growth. Furthermore, these micro-nutrients help make plants resistant to diseases and pests, resulting in less or no pesticides being needed.
Furthermore, organic fertilizers contain a very crucial element which too is lacking in chemical fertilizers: organic matter. Organic matter is composed of carbon-based compounds that are the remains of organisms such as plants and the deposits of animals and their waste products in the environment. Due to modern agricultural practices, organic matter levels have continued to decrease in our soil worldwide. With every harvest, organic material, and thereby organic matter, is taken from the soil. Without replacing this organic matter, the soil becomes more deprived and degraded, resulting in unfertile and eroded land no longer fit for agricultural production.
Organic matter helps to regulate moisture retention in the soil and stimulates soil bio-diversity and healthy root growth. It reduces the potential for runoff and erosion, and aids nutrient availability for plants. Through its enhanced soil bio-diversity, organic matter promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms and inhibits the spread of pathogenic organisms in the soil. This leads to improved resistance to pests and diseases and reduced the need for pesticides.