Minnesota Farmer


What is Chemical Fertilizer?
February 18, 2010, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Corn, Farm, fertilizer, hunger, nitrogen, phosphorus, planting, potash, science, Soybeans, tillage

I’m perplexed.  As a modern day crop farmer I’ve used Nitrogen, Potash and Phosphorus fertilizer all of my life.  Lately many have been writing about something called Chemical Fertilizer and calling it something bad.  When I was in school we were taught that Nitrogen, Potash and Phosphorus are elements not chemicals.  What is it that makes these bad?

Many are hanging a Chemical label on products used on the farm to make them sound bad.  I don’t understand it.  Modern man owes his life to chemicals.  We use them in so much of modern life and they have helped us in so many ways.

Fertilizer is a simplified form of the organic products we still use in many cases.  Nitrogen is drawn from the air, Potash and Phosphorus are mined from the earth.  The fact that they are purified is the only thing that makes it possible to sell them commercially in large amounts.

The loss of these major fertilizers, as some propose, will mean a lot to those who are going hungry.  I have a problem when people who have never missed a meal, try to tell the world that we cannot use every possible means to feed the hungry.  Without the help of modern science we will need much more land to feed the world.  Land we just do not have.

Michael

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