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close this book Soils, Crops and Fertilizer Use
close this folder Chapter 9: Using chemical fertilizers
View the document What are chemical fertilizers?
View the document Are chemical fertilizers appropriate for limited-resource farmers?
View the document An introduction to chemical fertilizers
View the document Common chemical fertilizers and their characteristics
View the document The effect of fertilizers on soil pH
View the document Fertilizer salt index and "burn" potential
View the document Basic application principles for N, P, and K
View the document Fertilizer application methods explained and compared
View the document Troubleshooting faulty fertilizer practices
View the document Getting the most out of fertilizer use: crop management as an integrated system
View the document Understanding fertilizer math
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Are chemical fertilizers appropriate for limited-resource farmers?

We dealt with this issue in detail at the start of Chapter 8 where the overall advantages of organic fertilizers were stressed. It was recommended that farmers be urged to maximize the practical usage of organics wherever feasible. On the other hand, it was also pointed out that many farmers may not have enough available to cover all their crop land. In such cases, chemical fertilizers are often very cost-effective if capital or credit is available. It's not unusual to receive a return of $3-$10 for every $1 spent on chemical fertilizers, especially when they're used along with other complementary management practices. However, chemical fertilizers require more skill to use than organics in terms of rate determinations, dosage calculation, timing, and placement.