Fertilizer overuse can acidify soil
Another reason to dislike the N-word: Fertilizer overuse creates many problems, like aquatic dead zones, resource depletion and blue-baby syndrome. One impact that has been mostly out of sight is soil acidification. A group of scientists from China, the UK and the US has been examining soil in China, where synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use increased by 191% between 1981 and 2007 (with application rates generally higher than in North America and Europe). The scientists found that much of the hydrogen in commercial fertilizers is not processed or absorbed by plants or soil, leading to the acidification of the soil. This can make the soil unacceptable or reduce yield for acid-disliking plants. The team recommends that new efforts be employed to optimally use nitrogen fertilizer (environmentalresearchweb) Related: Grist's series on nitrogen and an article from Christian Science Monitor
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