Related topics: women · eggs · sperm · embryos · infertility

Branching out for a new green revolution

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered a new gene that improves the yield and fertilizer use efficiency of rice.

Coated seeds may enable agriculture on marginal lands

Providing seeds with a protective coating that also supplies essential nutrients to the germinating plant could make it possible to grow crops in otherwise unproductive soils, according to new research at MIT.

The history of China as told through phosphorus

(Phys.org)—Phosphorus is a necessary component of fertilizers needed for agriculture. In 2013 about 225 million tons of phosphate was extracted predominantly for fertilizer use. This rate could diminish the Earth's phosphorus ...

Face value: How fertile women spot rivals

It is not only animals that rely on physical cues to gauge the fertility of potential rivals for a mate, an unusual study asserted on Wednesday.

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Fertilizer

Fertilizers are chemical compounds applied to promote plant and fruit growth. Fertilizers are usually applied either through the soil (for uptake by plant roots) or, by foliar feeding (for uptake through leaves).

Fertilizers can be placed into the categories of organic fertilizers (composed of decayed plant/animal matter), or inorganic fertilizers (composed of simple chemicals and minerals). Organic fertilizers are 'naturally' occurring compounds, such as peat, manufactured through natural processes (such as composting), or naturally occurring mineral deposits; inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical processes (such as the Haber process), also using naturally occurring deposits, while chemically altering them (e.g. concentrated triple superphosphate).

Properly applied, organic fertilizers can improve the health and productivity of soil and plants, as they provide different essential nutrients to encourage plant growth. Organic nutrients increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, which aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Chemical fertilizers may have long-term adverse impact on the organisms living in soil[citation needed] and a detrimental long term effect on soil productivity of the soil[citation needed].

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