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Quotes & Concepts: "Nitrogen fertilizer has a hidden cost"

Don Ball Published on 31 December 2015
Spreading manure organic source of nitrogen

Most commercial nitrogen fertilizers lower soil pH much more quickly than organic sources of nitrogen such as animal manure or nitrogen resulting from the symbiotic relationship between Rhizobium bacteria and legumes.

Most forage crops are sensitive to soil acidity, so when the soil pH drops substantially, lime must be applied to raise the pH to an acceptable level.

This “hidden cost” of using commercial nitrogen fertilizer is one of the reasons why use of legumes and other natural sources of nitrogen tends to be more economically feasible.

From Forage-Livestock Quotes and Concepts, D.M. Ball, et. al,

PHOTO: Spreading organic suorces of nitrogen such as animal manure. Photo by Karen Lee.