Using Organic Fertilizers

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Sustainability of agriculture has become a major global concern since the 1980s. Soil organic matter is very important in the functions of soil inasmuch as it is a good indicator of soil quality because it mediates many of the chemical, physical, and biological processes controlling the capacity of a soil to perform successfully. A comparison of cultivated and uncultivated soils has demonstrated a reduction in soil organic matter with cultivation (Mann 1986). Soil organic matter properties (e.g., C:N ratio and macroorganic matter) have been proposed as diagnostic criteria for soil health and performance. However, the importance of organic matter to crop production receives less emphasis, and its proper use in soil management is sometimes neglected or even forgotten. Moreover, understanding nutrient supply or agricultural systems is essential for maintaining long-term productivity.
Yields of crops grown in organic and conventional production systems can be the same (Drinkwater et al. 1995; Stamatoados et al. 1999). However, agriculture or agroindustries produce high quantities of organic wastes that are typically rich in nutrients, which can well be used in agriculture to conserve nutrients as well as reduce waste discharge and the use of chemical fertilizers.

Ren-Shih Chong
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center