A natural or artificial material called fertiliser is added to the soil or plants to promote growth and productivity. They give the plants nutrients. Example: urea, anhydrous ammonia, etc.

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What are Fertilisers?

Fertilisers are additional substances supplied to the crops to increase their productivity. These are used by the farmers daily to increase the crop yield. These fertilisers contain essential nutrients required by the plants, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. They also enhance the water retention capacity of the soil and increase its fertility.

Types Of Fertilisers

Fertilisers are mainly classified into two main types, organic and inorganic fertilisers.

Organic Fertilizers

Natural fertilisers derived from plants and animals are known as organic fertilisers. By adding carbonic molecules necessary for plant growth, it enriches the soil. Organic fertilisers boost the amount of organic matter in the soil, encourage microbial reproduction, and alter the physical and chemical composition of the soil. It is regarded as one of the essential elements for foods that are green.

Organic fertilizers can be obtained from the following products:

  • Agricultural Waste
  • Livestock Manure
  • Industrial Waste
  • Municipal Sludge

Inorganic Fertilisers

Chemical fertilisers generated by chemical techniques that contain nutrients for crop growth are known as inorganic fertilisers. The inorganic fertilisers are of the following types:

Nitrogen Fertilisers

Nitrogen fertilisers contain nitrogen necessary for the development of crops. Nitrogen, a key constituent of chlorophyll, helps main balance in the process of photosynthesis. It is also a part of amino acids in plants and contains protein. Nitrogen fertilisers improve the production and quality of agricultural products.

Phosphorus Fertiliser

In a phosphorus fertiliser, phosphorus is the principal nutrient. The effective phosphorus concentration, fertilisation techniques, soil characteristics, and crop strains all affect how successful a fertiliser is. The protoplasm of the cell contains phosphorus, which is crucial for cell growth and proliferation. The growth of the plants’ roots is aided by the phosphorus fertiliser.

Advantages Of Fertilisers

The advantages of fertilisers are mentioned below:

  • Easy to transport, store, and apply

  • For supplying a specific nutrient we can select a specific fertiliser due to its nutrient specific nature

  • Water-soluble and can easily dissolve in the soil. Hence, they are easily absorbed by the plants

  • They have a rapid effect on the crops

  • Increase the crop yield and provide enough food to feed the large population

  • Predictable and reliable

Disadvantages Of Fertilisers

Fertilisers have the following disadvantages:

  • Expensive

  • The ingredients in the fertilizers are toxic to the skin and respiratory system

  • Excessive use of fertilisers damages the plants and reduces soil fertility

  • Leaching occurs and the fertilisers reach the rivers causing eutrophication

  • Long term use reduces the microbial activity and disturbs the pH of the soil

Also Read: Crop Production and Management

Uses Of Fertilisers

Fertilisers are used for various purposes. The uses of fertilisers are mentioned below:

  • Used to provide additional nutrients to the plants

  • They are added to improve the yield of the crops

  • Nitrogen-rich fertilisers are used for the greening of lawns

  • Organic fertilisers improve the texture and fertility of the soil

  • Gardeners use fertilisers to address certain needs of the plants such as nutritional needs

  • Fertilisers are added to potted plants to replace the lost nutrients

Importance Of Fertilisers

With such limited resources, it is quite challenging to meet the demands of the expanding population. Agriculture output has declined due to pests, a shortage of fertilisers, and declining soil fertility. The significance of fertilisers in agriculture has expanded as a result.

Fertilisers can be essential to plants in the following ways:

  • Fertilisers make plants more resistant to pests. As a result, they are using fewer insecticides and herbicides, which results in healthier crops. Hence, fewer illnesses are present, giving the crops an aesthetic value.

  • Fertilisers improve the water holding capacity of the plants and increase root depth.

  • The potassium content present in the fertilisers strengthens the straws and stalks of the plants.

  • The phosphorus present in the fertilisers helps in faster development of roots and formation of seeds in plants.

  • Nitrogen in the fertilisers promotes plant growth, which is seen in the green colour of the plants

Since chemical fertilisers adversely affect soil fertility, biofertilizers were brought into use. These are substances that contain living or latent cells, and even micro-organisms. They provide the soil with the necessary nutrients and microbes for the growth of the plants. They help the soil to retain its fertility. They are environment-friendly and also destroy pathogenic components responsible for causing disease in plants. Acetobacter and Rhizobium are two such widely used biofertilisers.

For more information on Fertilisers, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.

Related Links

Fertilizer Vs Manure

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the different types of fertilisers?

Fertilisers are basically classified into two:

  • Organic fertilisers- Agricultural waste, livestock manure, municipal sludge
  • Inorganic fertiliser- Nitrogen fertiliser, Phosphorus fertiliser

What are the main components of fertilisers?

Fertilisers primarily consist of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The rating tells you how much phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen are in a fertiliser.


What are the drawbacks of using fertilisers?

Algal blooms are brought on by the fertilisers’ surplus nutrients that wash off into bodies of water. Sometimes these algae blooms prevent streams from moving freely. The oxygen level of the water is decreased when the algae die and drop to the bottom of the water bodies. Additionally, using too many fertilisers weakens the soil’s fertility.


What is the significance of 10-10-10 in fertilisers?

The primary nutrients are represented by the three numbers on fertilisers. A bag of fertiliser with the label 10-10-10 contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium. The term “fertiliser grade” refers to this marking, and this is a national standard.


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