Synthetic Fertilizers Fail to Sustain Soil Health Over Time

The natural structure of soil is not being enhanced by synthetic fertilizers
The natural structure of soil is not being enhanced by synthetic fertilizers

The results of a 50-year-long study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reveal the effects synthetic fertilizer has on the sustainability of soil health over time. According to the findings, synthetic fertilizers failed to enhance soil aggregate stability, which hampered the natural soil structure and nutrient absorption.

An article from CropLife highlighted the study’s findings and reported that the company Bio S.I. Technology has developed a formula that will deliver “microbial communities back into the earth to naturally improve soil structure.” The intent of the formula is reportedly to maximize the effect of natural fertilizer on soil health without sending harmful chemicals in the soil or surrounding environment. According to CropLife, soil has its own natural process of recycling nutrients such as healthy bacteria that defends against pests and disease while strengthening the soil’s capacity to grow strong, deep roots.

From the CropLife article, “While fertilization did increase soil organic carbon stocks of the tested crop lands over time, the practice failed to enhance soil aggregate stability…Research regarding fertilizer’s impact on soil structure is a relatively small field, but the few studies that have been conducted suggest reliance on synthetic fertilizers as an unfeasible approach to long-term sustainability.”

Based on the study results, CropLife reported that while synthetic fertilizer can provide short-term benefits to soil health and plant life, in the long term it prevents the natural nutrient recycling process from occurring and fails to enhance a sustainable soil structure.