Fertilizers and manure are both used to improve the fertility of soil and to promote plant growth, but they are different in several ways:
- Composition: Fertilizers are manufactured products that contain specific amounts of essential plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Manure, on the other hand, is organic matter that is made from the excrement of animals, and it contains a wide range of nutrients and microorganisms.
- Nutrient content: Fertilizers are designed to contain specific amounts of plant nutrients and are formulated to correct specific nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Manure, on the other hand, contains a wide range of nutrients, but the nutrient content can vary depending on the type of animal and what they were fed.
- Application: Fertilizers are applied to the soil in carefully measured quantities, while manure is typically spread over the soil in bulk.
- Quality and purity: Fertilizers are manufactured to have consistent quality and purity, while the quality and purity of manure can vary widely depending on the source.
- Processing: Fertilizers are produced through a industrial process, where raw materials are mixed and processed to form a specific product. Manure is a natural product and often needs little processing.
- Environmental impact: Fertilizers, particularly synthetic ones, can have negative impacts on the environment when they are not used or applied correctly. Manure, especially when used in an organic farming system, is considered to be a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option as it is a byproduct of other agricultural activities and it also helps to improve soil fertility and biodiversity.
Overall, fertilizers and manure both play an important role in improving soil fertility and promoting plant growth, but they are different in terms of composition, nutrient content, and application method.