Nitrogen-rich fertilzer problems

By: Alyssa Poindexter

The Problem With Fertilizers

Plants need nitrogen to grow, but the nitrogen that is in the atmosphere is not a alibi to them. Even though there a re tons of it in the atmosphere it's not in a form that the plants can absorb. That's where nitrogen rich fertilizers come in, because it can act as a nitrogen substitute for the plants to keep them healthy. Sadly people tend to overuse the fertilizers causing MAJOR problems in our environment. (The information in this paragraph came from Scied.ucar.edu)
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What Happens when you use too much fertilizer?

Nitrogen-rich fertilizers can cause a chain reaction in our environment, but some are more noticeable than others. Here is a list in order of what happens when too much fertilizer is used at one time.


  • Nitrogen from the fertilizer sinks into the soil, often creating conditions that favor the growth of weeds rather than native plants.
  • Then Nitrogen washes into waterways causing a major rise in nutrients. That causes aquatic weeds to grow unchecked, and if it's not fixed it can fill up an entire lake, river, or stream.
  • As it begins to worsen it can begin to kill the fish and plants in the aquatic system, and if it isn't treated it can even "kill the lake". That in turn affects using it for swimming, fishing, or boating.

How does it impact the nitrogen cycle?

Fertilizers affect the nitrogen cycle in many ways, but the one major way is basically overloading the cycle. The nitrogen cycle only produces so much at once, but by over fertilizing it doubles or even triples the nitrogen in our environment causing problems for plants and animals.

Does the extra fertilization help?

Yes it does, because without it there wouldn't be enough food production to sustain the people on this planet. Even though its doing some good, does that mean that we should overlook the bad its causing our environment?

Should we continue to over fertilizer, which may destroy the earth, or should we let the people of this planet starve to death?