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Agriculture

Fertilizing Crops Doesn't Help Soil Organic Matter

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Fertilizer may help crops, but not the soil

Applying fertilizer to increase crop production is an approved practice in modern agricultural production.  However, a study, completed the University of Illinois in 2007, indicates that while crop yield are improved with the addition of nitrogen fertilizer, the down side is that soil organic matter is lost, rather enhanced by the fertilizer.  Revisiting this study ten years later is significant because of the renewed awareness that organic matter is important for giving soils the ability to absorb extreme events of either too much or too little precipitation.