Difference between Fertilizer and Manure

Key Difference: Fertilizer provides nutrients to the plant in order for them to grow. Manure is animal feces that are used to provide necessary nutrients for the soil.

Fertilizer and manure are often confusing words for people who do not indulge in farming or gardening. These words are often believed to be the same. However, they are different. In reality, manure is actually a type of fertilizer. Both of these are important for a land or garden to grow big and strong.

In order for a plant to grow and thrive, it requires Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The former three are easily available from air, water and other sources, while the latter three are hard to come by. These nutrients are often found decay of plants or living organisms, while nitrogen is only available by recycling nitrogen from dead to living plants. That’s where fertilizers come into the picture, these provide the necessary nutrients in order to make the plants strong and thrive better.

There are two kinds of fertilizers, organic and synthetic. Organic fertilizers are fertilizers that are created using natural products such as manure, compost, litter, bone meal, etc. These are created using organic materials and are more beneficial to plants as they do not cause harm in the long run. Inorganic or synthetic fertilizers are fertilizers that use inorganic compounds or chemicals in order to provide the nutrition required for the grass. Inorganic fertilizers are popular as they show results quickly and can also be absorbed by the plants faster. Inorganic fertilizers are frowned upon as they can run off into human water reserves and contaminate the supply. Other reasons also include that in the long run the chemicals are believed to dangerous of the soil and the earth.

Fertilizers typically provide macronutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S) and micronutrients such as boron (B), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn) and nickel (Ni). The numbers on the bag of the fertilizer can tell the buyer the percentages of available nitrogen and the ratio of the different chemicals. For example a 12-10-8 would signify that the bag has 12% nitrogen, 10% phosphorous and 8% potassium. The rest is made up of the other nutrients and various different percentages.

Manure is organic matter that is used as organic fertilizer to provide plants with nutrients. Manure is basically animal feces mixed with bedding straw. It helps the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients such as nitrogen back into the soil. The most common type of manure is cow dung which is mixed with straw beddings or directly placed in raw soil. They are a rich source of nutrients and micronutrients that are found inside the Earth and are required by the soil in order to grow.

There are three different types of manures: animal manure, compost and plant manures. Animal manure is the feces and excretions from various animals such as cows horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, humans (sewage), and guano from seabirds and bats. Farmyard animal manure is often mixed with bedding as the bedding absorbs the urine and feces. Compost is the decomposed remnants of organic materials such as food, dead leaves, etc. Plant manures are crops that are grown for the purpose of plowing them in and using it as nutrients and organic matter. Types of plant matter also include rumens of slaughtered ruminants, spent hops (left after brewing beer) and seaweed.

Manure is considered to be high in nitrogen, oxygen, carbon and other nutrients that are required by the soil for replenishment. Manure is also beneficial as it encourages soil activity and promotes the soil’s trace mineral supply. Manure that has a strong odor is more commonly injected directly inside the soil to reduce the odor from being released in the air, while manure from cows and barnyard animals are spread on the fields using a manure spreader. Other uses of animal manure also includes as fuel because they can be easily combusted.

Manure is a type of fertilizer for the soil. It performs a similar job that a fertilizer does for the plants. While fertilizer rejuvenates the plants in general, manure can help plants as well as the soil receive nutrition. Manure is a more sought after choice by organic farmers, while fertilizers are used more commercially. A mix of both can ensure that the land as well as the plants will grow healthy.

Image Courtesy: ncagr.gov, boalogistics.com

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very useful...

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Very good information

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