Are mineral fertilizers dangerous?
The debate about whether to apply mineral fertilizers on the site or to grow everything according to the “environmental principle” does not subside and probably will never subside. However, sometimes it seems that the supporters of "environmental friendliness" do not have their own garden or personal garden, they only criticize the "terrible actions" of gardeners who use mineral fertilizers. But is "chemistry" so harmful, is mineral nutrition so dangerous? Let's figure it all out.
Where did the fear of everything chemical come from?
It originates from those gardeners and vegetable growers who lack knowledge on agrochemistry and who have neither information on doses, nor methods of fertilizing, but who read books and articles on organic farming translated into Russian from all languages of the world and calculated, First of all, to profit from the sale of the book itself, and not to teach someone how to get really environmentally friendly products.
Looking ahead, as a person who has worked in science for a decade and a half, I want to say about my own impressions of growing fruit crops in our gardens and Western gardens. Guys, everything is wonderful with us due to the fact that gardeners and large farmers save their money on fertilizers and pesticides: only 6-8 treatments are performed per season (by force), but in the West at least two dozen! And what’s most interesting - in the West, people’s life expectancy is still longer than ours.
As for mineral fertilizers, the rumors about their harmfulness and toxicity, to put it mildly, are greatly exaggerated.
Why are mineral fertilizers needed?
Any living organism, and plants, is also no exception, it definitely needs water, heat, sunlight and nutrition. Plant organisms receive energy through photosynthesis, thanks to sunlight and nutrients dissolved in water, which they sometimes absorb in the soil in large quantities, especially in the harvest years.
Growing plants at the same place for a long period of time (the same trees, shrubs are not vegetables, crop rotation can also be a kind, but it is not annual, but every few decades), without applying fertilizers, we simply we will achieve severe depletion of the soil, which will naturally be very difficult to replenish (if at all possible). Plants simply will not be able to grow and develop without mineral compounds, or without organic matter.
As a result, on soil where mineral fertilizers, fruits and berries are not applied, we can still be able to get (say, thanks only to organic matter), but they may well not have in their composition certain elements that are necessary and important for our body. And if we rely specifically on these elements, consuming fruits and berries, but they are not there? It turns out that products grown in an ecologically clean environment, but on poor soil, may be even less useful than grown on soil in compliance with all elements of the technology, albeit using chemical mineral fertilizers.
Are mineral fertilizers safe?
In capable hands, yes. To start with the fact that fertilizers that are not certified by the relevant authorities cannot get into our market with you and, accordingly, into our plots. All standard mineral fertilizers that are sold in our country are required to be tested for environmental cleanliness and safety for the environment as a whole, and for animals, humans, birds and insects in particular. Know that if fertilizer is on the shelf of a garden store, then it has passed certification and if you use it in optimal doses and at the right time, then there will be no more harm from it than from wood ash or dolomite flour.
The very ideas of ecological farming, which at the dawn of their formation were positioned as a call for the use of chemistry in the right, moderate amounts, are currently for some reason strongly distorted and are already positioned as a complete ban on the use of almost any chemistry in gardens and orchards, which , at its core, sounds absurd.
Completely biological and organic farming, it was possible in the 15th century until 18, when oily virgin lands were developed, and no one thought about the depletion of the soil. Now all these norms and rules of biological and organic farming will simply not work.
But what if you manage with manure?
Speaking negatively about mineral fertilizers, many nod toward organic fertilizers - they say, there is manure and similar fertilizers, bring only them, and you will be happy in the form of a high crop. In fact, the same manure has its own advantages and disadvantages. To begin with, manure is, as you know, already recycled material and certainly something may be missing in it.
Animals, consuming plants, have already consumed most of the substances that they need for growth and development, and plants for normal existence and development, and waste (with manure) went to unnecessary substances (for the most part), and, perhaps a small fraction of the necessary substances, but which the body of the animal did not have time to digest. Therefore, manure is good, but it cannot be said that fertilizer is ideal in all respects, capable of completely and completely replacing mineral fertilizers.
But this is not all, introducing manure, can you be sure that the animals were also raised in accordance with all environmental rules? Did they receive antibiotics or inject growth stimulants into the feed? In animal husbandry, a huge number of different, again, chemical preparations are used, necessary to maintain the normal growth of animals, to protect them from diseases and harmful microorganisms, commonplace veterinary preparations and disinfectants that process water and premises and which are created in such a way. to stand out with waste products, that is, with the same manure.
Of course, many can answer this that they have their own personal farm animals, do not stuff them with anything and therefore get environmentally friendly manure. It is difficult to believe in it, because the animals themselves were, and now they simply cannot survive without vaccinations, but we will believe. But then the question arises about the availability of compounds contained in manure for plants.
Everyone probably knows, especially those who use mineral fertilizers, that vegetable, fruit and berry crops have important, one might even say, critical periods of growth and development, when they need certain substances in an accessible, dissolved form in water form immediate consumption (say, during the flowering of gardens, foliar feeding of urea is often applied, plants are simply sprayed with its solution, and if this is not done, most of the flowers and ovaries will fall off corny).
Alas, neither the soil that happens without applying mineral fertilizers is greatly depleted, nor the organic fertilizers, whose substances should only once have turned into a form accessible to plants, will not immediately allow them to be absorbed, they simply are not there. This is where the inferior vegetables and fruits that we mentioned above are obtained. This is not to be said to be harmful, but it is not so useful, is it?
Use of mineral fertilizers prevents soil dying
I would like to convey a simple idea that without the use of mineral fertilizers, of course, in combination with organic matter, given the optimal dosage, timing and time, the soil will die, albeit slowly. Soil over time will be depleted to the maximum extent, and it takes decades to bring it back to normal. On soils that are not subject to the application of mineral fertilizers, by definition it is impossible to obtain high yields of high-grade vegetables and fruits. This was proved by science - agrochemistry, which claims that It is simply impossible to fully compensate for the powerful removal of mineral substances from the soil by gardens and kitchen gardens by simply adding organic matter and plowing green crops.
If you have your own personal opinion on this issue, then write about it in the comments with its justification, it will be interesting to discuss on this topic.