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How are Soil Microbes Affected by Fertilizers?
Indiana Ag Connection - 05/19/2020

All soils, microbes and fertilizers are unique. Different farms -- or even areas within a farm -- may have different situations. The Soil Science Society of America's (SSSA) recent Soils Matter blog explores how fertilizer affects microbes in the soil.

According to blogger Connor Sible at the University of Illinois, "When we think about agricultural fertilizer applications, most people connect those nutrients only to improved plant growth."

However, these nutrients are available to all organisms in the soil system, including the microbes. While the soil microbes use fertilized nutrients, they also play a big role in getting nutrients into plants. Sible's research has looked further into this micro world.

"A common perspective is that fertilizer applications have a negative effect on soil microbes," says Sible. "This could either be by inhibiting the growth of or killing the microbial populations. It's only a theory, and it's only recently that we've been able to research this question better."

"Our hope is to learn more about how soil microbes at the micro level of the root zone can influence our ability to grow food and feed the world," says Sible.

To learn more about the how fertilizer affects soil microbes, read the entire blog post: https://bit.ly/3g20bHu

SSSA is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, Wis., SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use. Follow SSSA on Facebook at SSSA.soils, and Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/about-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.

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