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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

What are chemical fertilizers?

As opposed to organic fertilizers which originate from plants and animals (compost, manure, etc.) or are unprocessed minerals like raw rock phosphate, chemical fertilizers are derived from a chemical manufacturing or synthesizing process. Some examples are urea fertilizer (45-46 percent N) made from carbon dioxide and ammonia, or single superphosphate 18-21 percent P2O5) made from combining rock phosphate and sulfuric acid.