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Fertilizers are water soluble substance rich in nutrients which are added to soil to enhance the fertility of the soil. This note contains information on use of fertilizers, their types, and elements that make up good fertilizer.


They are water soluble substance rich in nutrients which are added to soil to enhance the fertility of the soil.

Types of fertilizers

  1. Organic fertilizers
  2. Chemical fertilizers

Organic fertilizers: Those fertilizers which are obtained from theliving source are known as organic fertilizers. They are two types:


  1. Green manure

    Green manure is defined as the practice of growing, ploughing under and mixing of green plants with soil to improve the fertility of the soil and ultimately crop productivity.

  2. Compost Manure

    It is a kind of natural fertilizer which is prepared by mixing of cattle dung, poultry dropping and crop residues like remnants of straw, rotten vegetables, etc. The mixture is stored in a pit. Sometimes, lime is added to the pit containing mass to make a good kind of fertilizer. Gradually, by the action of micro-organisms, decomposition takes place and converts it into compost. It provides most of the nutrients required by plants and enhances the fertility of the soil.

Chemical fertilizers: The fertilizers prepared artificially in industry by using minerals are called chemical fertilizers.


  1. Nitrogen fertilizers: The fertilizers which contain salts of nitrogen are called nitrogen fertilizers.


    Example: Ammonium sulphate Urea


    Functions of nitrogen

    1. It promotes fast growth and development of plants.
    2. It helps to form a large amount of protein and chlorophyll.
    3. It helps to increase the yield of crops.

    Effects of deficiency of nitrogen

    1. Low growth and development of plants
    2. Less synthesis of chlorophyll in leaves causing yellow leaves
    3. reduction in crop yielding
  2. Phosphorous fertilizer: The fertilizers which contain salts of phosphorous are called phosphorous fertilizer.


    Example: Ammonium phosphate ; Calcium super phosphate

    Functions of phosphorous

    1. It helps in proper growth and development of plants.
    2. It makes the plant highly resistant to diseases.
    3. It helps in maturity of crops and seed formation.

    Effects of deficiency of phosphorous

    1. Less growth and development of roots.
    2. Reduction in disease resistance power of plant.
    3. Slow rate of cell division
  3. Potassium fertilizers: Those fertilizers which contain salts of potassium are known as potassium fertilizers.


    Example: Potassium chloride Potassium nitrate

    Functions of potassium

    1. It helps in proper growth of flowers.
    2. It helps for healthy growth and development of roots and stalks of leaves.
    3. It helps to resist diseases.

    Effects of deficiency of potassium

    1. Decrease in the immunity power of plants against diseases.
    2. Withering of leaves
    3. The reduction of disease resistant power of plants.

    On the basis of number of primary nutrients supplied, fertilizers are of following three types:

    1. Single fertilizers: Those fertilizers which contain only one primary plant nutrient ie. Nitrogen or Phosphorous or Potassium are called single fertilizers.


      Example: Potassium chloride

    2. Mixed fertilizers: The fertilizers which contain more than one primary nutrient are called mixed fertilizers. Example:Potassium nitrate.


    3. Complete fertilizer or NPK fertilizer: Fertilizers which contain all the three nutrients ie Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium as primary plant nutrients are known as complete fertilizers.


    Chemical pollution:

    Environmental deterioration due to unscientific and improper use of chemical substance is called chemical pollution.


    1. Insecticides and chemical fertilizers
    2. Refuses, waste materials and plastics
    3. Smoke from the means of transport and industries.
    4. Colors used in foodstuffs
    5. Synthetic clingers


    Control measures:

    1. Farmers should be suggested about the use of organic fertilizers rather than chemical fertilizers.
    2. Dirt must be properly disposed.
    3. Adequate dumping sites should be managed.
    4. Sustainable development should be carried out.
    5. We must emphasize reusing and recycling of wastes.
    6. Harmful smoke from industries should not be allowed to spread in air.
    7. Training should be given to the farmers regarding the use of chemical fertilizers,insecticides and pesticides.

Things to remember
  • Fertilizers are water soluble substance rich in nutrients which are added to soil to enhance the fertility of the soil.
  • There are two types of fertilizers. They are Organic fertilizers (Green manure, Compost Manure) and Chemical fertilizers(Nitrogen fertilizers, Phosphorous fertilizer, Potassium fertilizers).
  • Environmental deterioration due to unscientific and improper use of chemical substance is called chemical pollution.
  • The causes of chemical pollution are insecticides and chemical fertilizers, smoke from the means of transport and industries, colors used in foodstuffs, synthetic clingers, etc.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers
The contamination of the chemicals in the environment is called chemical pollution. Pesticides and fertilizers are the factors which causes chemical pollution. When the chemical fertilizers like nitrate fertilizer is used in excess amount, it may not be completely absorbed by the crops in the soil. Thus, the rain water will wash it off and accumulates it in ponds and lakes. As a result, there will be the overgrowth of unnecessary of weeds and algae. These weeds and algae will consume all the food and oxygen in the water. Consequently, the aquatic animals will die with the lack of food and oxygen.
The deficiency of nitrogen causes reduction of yield and leaves turn from green to yellow. The deficiency of phosphorus causes poor root growth and purpling of leaves and plant growth will be the stunned and delayed in the fruit ripening. The deficiency of potassium causes hindering in protein synthesis and cell division leaves and buds wither and immunity is decreased.
Nitrogen is necessary for the synthesis of chlorophyll and protein which helps for the growth of the plant. The urea fertilizer supplies nitrogen in the soil.
The two ways to control chemical pollution are: a. The use of chemical substances like CO, lead, SO2 etc. should be reduced. b. The use of chemical pesticides in vegetables and other crops should be reduced.
Nitrogen fertilizer is essential for the growth of the plants.
A fertilizer that contains the major elements Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium is called NPK fertilizer. Ammonia nitrate (NH4NO3) is a chemical fertilizer that contains nitrogen. Ammonia phosphate [(NH4)3 PO4] is a chemical fertilizer that contains phosphorus.
The colored food stuffs contain different types of coloring agents i.e. chemicals which can cause chronic disease like cancer, rheumatic pain, asthma, etc. So, colored food stuffs are not safe to eat.
Compost manner is the kind of organic fertilizer which is made by decaying of grasses, straw, cow dung etc. in pits for few months. It can provide entire elements which are necessary to the plants.

The substances which are used to increase the fertility of soil is called fertilizer. They are of two types:
i. Organic fertilizers
ii. Inorganic chemical fertilizers

The following effects are seen in the plant due to deficiency of potassium are: i. Less growth and development of flower. ii. Wilting and withering of leaves. iii. Reduces the disease resistant power of plants. iv. Disturbances in manufacturing protein and cell division.
The two following potassium containing fertilizers are: i. Potassium chloride (KCl) ii. Potassium nitrate (KNO3)
Organic Fertilizers Inorganic Chemical Fertilizers
  1. Organic fertilizers are obtained from dead and decayed bodies of animals plants or their waste products.
  2. They provide all the elements which necessary for growth and development of plants.
  1. They are obtained by the mixture of different chemical substances.
  2. They provide a particular element to the plants.

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