With every advancement that has been made in the field of agriculture, there lies a challenge that remains unresolved.
The focus of researchers worldwide is to improve ultimate environmental sustainability and food security in agriculture, but the excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers is making it difficult to achieve both of them.
Dax Cooke Discusses Why Farmers Use Fertilizers in Excess
Excess chemical fertilizers use poses a serious threat to the environment, but one must wonder, why do farmers even misuse fertilizers?
Chemical fertilizers can increase crop yield. They can eliminate the occurrence of certain conditions and induce increased availability of nutrients in the soil. But the downside of this practice is that it pollutes the environment.
Dax Cooke believes that fertilizer misuse is mainly due to the feeding demands of this fast-growing world and agricultural expansion. But the increase in the use of artificial nitrogen compounds and synthetic fertilizers poses a big challenge.
An excess of anything brings a negative impact. Similarly, unnecessary applications of fertilizers don’t always bring consistent growth but low efficiency of nutrient uptake and usage.
Dax Cooke Relates Soil Contamination With Chemical Fertilizers
These chemicals can bring some advantages, but their misuse leads to disturbance in the life cycle of beneficial microorganisms living in the soil. Moreover, the health of animals and humans is also indirectly related to the quality of soil and the presence of chemicals in it.
Therefore, avoiding the misuse of chemical fertilizers is a step toward sustainable crop productivity.
Dax Cooke agrees that chemical fertilizers increase the health and growth of plants, but using excessive chemicals to increase crop yield will instead grow plants having poor root and shoot systems and nutritional characteristics.
The byproducts of these chemicals will also contribute to air and land pollution and also water pollution when the contaminated water is disposed of in natural water bodies.
So using these chemicals in soil is not only deteriorating the health of plants but rather affecting the air, water, and soil quality. Constant crop production will also deplete natural soil resources until all natural resources are depleted.
Dax Cooke thinks that taking remedial actions against threatening soil degradation is essential to combat challenges against advanced agriculture.
Dax Cooke Discusses Remedies and Solutions Against Excess Fertilizer Use
Using organic inputs such as biofertilizers, slow-release fertilizers, bio-pesticides, and manure can put an end to the chemical invasion by synthetic fertilizers.
Furthermore, the efficient use of nitrogen-fixing crops is a crucial step toward replacing synthetic nitrogen with biologically useful soil fertility.
Nitrogen-fixing plants have bacteria in their roots that can convert nitrogen from the air into ammonia, which is then used by the plant to make amino acids and DNA. The Pea family is an important crop that can achieve this task.
Where sustainable use of fertilizers and nitrogen is limited, these plants can play an important part in balancing soil fertility and avoiding chemical fertilizers use.