Biofertilizer vs Chemical Fertilizer: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Biofertilizer: Organic, sustainable fertilizer derived from natural sources promotes soil health and long-term fertility.
  2. Chemical Fertilizer: Synthetic fertilizer providing immediate nutrient supply, but can degrade soil quality and contribute to environmental pollution.
  3. Difference: Biofertilizers are organic and sustainable, while chemical fertilizers offer quick results but may have long-term environmental drawbacks.

What is Biofertilizer?

Biofertilizers are one of the most important food supplements for plants in farming or even at a household level. Biofertilizers are the type of fertilizers that contain environment-friendly and economical ingredients.

They help enrich the soil with the necessary nutrients, fertilizing it. They are naturally obtained and enhance the overall productivity of the farm and the yields.

Biofertilizers contain live microbes that nourish plants. They do so by mobilizing the existing nutrient content of the plants. Not all bacteria are harmful; some beneficial bacteria help in fertilizing the soil too.

Various forms of fungi in the soil and plant remains are also used for biofertilizers. Rhizosphere, rhizoplane and root interior should be colonized effectively in plants for proper nourishment. These microorganisms make sure that happens.

Biofertilizers have a relatively long-lasting effect on soil as well as plants. Different types of biofertilizers are suitable for different types of plants. For instance, Rhizobium is best suited for leguminous plants; for crops on the farm like wheat, maize, and cotton azotobacter is used.

Biofertilizers are helpful for sustainable agricultural practices. They are harmless for farmers and people that are implementing them.

Also Read:  Glycaemic Index vs Glycaemic Load: Difference and Comparison

What is Chemical Fertilizer?

Fertilizers that contain chemical-based contents that help in plant growth are known as chemical fertilizers. They mostly comprise potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous, but secondary elements like magnesium and calcium exist.

Based on the chemical composition, chemical fertilizers are classified and differentiated into three types, nitrogenous fertilizers, phosphatic fertilizers, and potassium fertilizers. Nitrogenous fertilizers contain ions of ammonium and nitrate. Phosphatic fertilizers contain three forms of phosphates: calcium dihydrogen phosphate, ammonium hydrogen phosphate, or ammonium phosphate.

Chemical fertilizers give quicker feedback, and they are extremely reliable and predictable. They add an appropriate amount of nutrients to the plants and the soil.

The disadvantages of using chemical fertilizers are that they can decrease the soil’s microbial growth and increase acidity. Due to the high acidity, the soil’s pH level can kill the useful bacteria in the soil. Its high chemical composition can harm the people implementing it if their eyes and face are not covered. There are higher chances of plant diseases too.

Chemical fertilizers do not help in sustainable agricultural practices. They have equal pros and cons. They can help grow different types of plants and vegetables in the same area, but they can also enter the groundwater sometimes without nourishing the crop.

Difference Between Biofertilizer and Chemical Fertilizer

  1. Biofertilizers contain microbes and plant remains; on the other hand, chemical fertilizers contain chemicals.
  2. Biofertilizers help in sustainable agricultural practices; on the other hand, chemical fertilizers do not help in sustainable agricultural practices.
  3. Biofertilizers give relatively slower feedback; on the other hand, chemical fertilizers give a quicker result.
  4. Biofertilizers are renewable sources; on the other hand, chemical fertilizers are non-renewable sources.
  5. The soil’s pH level is not compromised to a greater extent when biofertilizers are used; on the other hand, the soil becomes acidic when chemical fertilizers are used.
  6. Biofertilizers are mostly prepared manually; on the other hand, chemical fertilizers are prepared using several equipment and industrial techniques.
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Comparison Between Biofertilizer and Chemical Fertilizer

Parameters Of ComparisonBiofertilizerChemical Fertilizer
ContentPlant remains, microbesChemicals like ammonia, phosphates, sulphates, potassium etc.
Salt contentLowHigh
LongevityShortLong
Nutrient distributionUnevenEven
CostRelatively lowHigh
ExamplesVermicompost, azotobacter, rhizobium etc.Urea, ammonium sulphate etc.
References
  1. https://journals.ekb.eg/article_8905.html
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Farhad-Rejali-2/publication/265882655_Response_of_Yield_and_Yield_Components_of_Maize_Zea_mays_L_to_Different_Biofertilizers_and_Chemical_Fertilizers/links/561e3b3908aecade1acb4d29/Response-of-Yield-and-Yield-Components-of-Maize-Zea-mays-L-to-Different-Biofertilizers-and-Chemical-Fertilizers.pdf

Last Updated : 15 July, 2023

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