Difference Between Manure and Fertilizer (With Table)

Plants require certain nutrients such as nitrate, magnesium, etc. that they take from the soil. However, if the soil is deficient in key minerals that these plants require to thrive, then manures and fertilizer compensate for the soil’s sterility. These minerals and nutrients must then be supplied to the soil for it to become productive.

Manure vs Fertilizer

The difference between manure and fertilizers is that manure is made from entirely organic material, whereas fertilizers can be organic or inorganic.  Manures being organic would not harm nature. However, the use of synthetic fertilizers can be harmful to nature and lead to pollution.

Manures are a form of natural fertilizer. To generate manure, farmers decompose plant and animal waste. Manure is the result of this breakdown, in organic matter. Nutrients are low in manure. Rather, it enriches the soil with humus, making it more fruitful. This improves the soil’s physical properties, allowing it to retain more moisture and increase aeration.

Fertilizers are organic or synthetic chemicals that are added to soil to provide nutrients to plants. They might be organic or inorganic. They provide the plants and crops with the nutrients they need to grow to their max capability and faster than natural means. Chemical fertilizers also act as pesticides, preventing pests and insects from damaging plants.

Comparison Table Between Manure and Fertilizer

Parameters of differenceManuresFertilizers
DefinitionManures are the natural fertilizers made from plant and animal waste added to soil to improve its physical properties.Fertilizers are organic or artificial compounds that are added to the soil to supply plants with the nutrients needed.
Cost-effectiveManures are more expensive than fertilizers.Fertilizers are very cost-effective and affordable to farmers.
Effect on soil and environment.Manures are natural fertilizers, hence they do not harm the soil and are environment friendly. Excess use of fertilizers can cause soil degradation and harm the environment
Nutrition content and growth.Manures have fewer nutrients than fertilizers and growth is relatively slower.Fertilizers are rich in nutrients and grow plants faster and more effectively than manures.

What is Manure?

Plant and animal wastes make manures that are utilized as a supply of plant nutrients. After decay, they produce nutrients for the plants. Agriculture predates the skill of gathering and utilizing waste from animal, human, and vegetable sources to improve crop output. 

Effective usage is necessary to boost the advantages of manure compost in gardening. Blending manure with soil is one of the most effective methods to utilize it as a natural fertilizer. The risk of harm to the plants is eliminated when manure is composted.

Another alternative is to till it into the soil in the wintertime or before planting in the spring. Usually, the ideal time to utilize manure in the garden is in the fall. This gives the manure more than enough time to break down, reducing the risk of burning plants in the garden. 

Manure has been utilized as a fertilizer, soil amendment, energy source, and even building material by livestock and poultry farmers throughout history. Nutrients, organic matter, minerals, energy, and fiber are among the many beneficial, recyclable compounds present in manure. Manure may be obtained in a variety of ways. waste from cattle – urine, dung, and liquid mix or slurry from biogas plants can be used very commonly to make manure.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizers are organic or artificial compounds that are added to the soil to supply plants with the nutrients needed. They might be either organic or inorganic. They function by supplying plants and crops with the nutrients they require to develop to their full potential and quicker than possible through natural means.

 Chemical fertilizers also work as insecticides, keeping pests and insects away from plants. With so few resources, meeting the expectations of an ever-increasing population is extremely challenging. A decline in agricultural productivity has been caused by a loss of soil fertility, pests, and a shortage of nutrients. Fertilizers have become even more important in agriculture as a result of this.

Fertilizers are extremely cost-effective for farmers. They help plants grow faster and are quite affordable and readily available. Excess fertilizer nutrients flow off into bodies of water, causing algal blooms. Algal blooms can occasionally obstruct the flow of rivers. When algae die, they settle at the bottom of water resources, lowering oxygen levels in the water. Excess fertilizer usage also depletes the soil’s fertility. Inorganic fertilizers include such as nitrogen fertilizers and phosphorus fertilizers. Agricultural waste, livestock manure, and municipal sludge are all examples of organic fertilizers.

Main Differences Between Manure and Fertilizers

  1. Manures are natural fertilizers made from animal and plant waste whereas Fertilisers can be both natural or synthetic.
  2. Manures are not as cost-effective as fertilizers. Fertilizers are comparatively cheaper and easily available.
  3. Fertilizers grow plants faster and more effectively than manures. Manures do not have a higher content of nutrients than fertilizers.
  4. Manures are organic, so they do not cause any harm to the soil. However excess use of fertilizers can make the soil acidic and cause soil degradation.
  5. Chemical fertilizers like pesticides can be harmful to the environment as they are not biodegradable. Manure does not harm the environment, being composed of natural components.


Both manures and fertilizers are used in increasing soil fertility and adding essential nutrients to the plants. Between manure and fertilizers, fertilizers are a superior source of nutrients for the plant, while manure is a better environmental option. With an ever-increasing population, it is important to produce an adequate amount of yield.

 Because chemical fertilizers harm soil fertility, biofertilizers have been introduced. These are compounds containing live or dormant cells, as well as microbes. They furnish the soil with the nutrients and microorganisms required for plant development.

 Manures and fertilizers play important role in doing so. They are very important in gardening or farming and it is important to have knowledge of these components.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=S0o0IDMJORYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=manures+and+fertilizers&ots=O1y5dhRbdH&sig=XYEubWmOxGhRskp4oqmmSNff9yU
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03650340701571033
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