I recently attended a conference that was held addressing ideas for the future’s agriculture. The speakers gave speeches that focused on different aspects of agriculture, however they all addressed a common point: the success of agriculture in the future requires a self-sustaining and ecologically efficient element.
One interesting speaker was an Australian ecologist by the name of Christine Jones. She provided an incredibly informative presentation regarding the nitrogen levels in our soil. Jones used references to elements, (abundance on this planet). She explained everything that happens with our elements, and why they behave the way they do. She explains how there is a significant difference between organic nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen found in the soil. Organic nitrogen includes animal fecal matter and remains of organic tissue or other living things, and it is essential to the life and prosperity of plants in the soil. Inorganic nitrogen is chemically manufactured and can be found in some fertilizers used to accelerate plant growth. She discussed that there has progressively been less organic nitrogen and more or the inorganic nitrogen compounds present in today’s soil. Inorganic nitrogen includes N2, NO3, NO2, and NH3. Here is a visual representation of what occurs in the nitrogen v. inorganic nitrogen process.
Inorganic nitrogen tends to stunt a plant of its internal resources to produce organic nitrogen for itself. It also starves a plant’s surrounding beneficial root-bacteria (or rhizobia) that require organic nitrogen to survive. The eradication of inorganic nitrogen is not only important for plant life, it affects humans as well. Compounds like nitrate found in water may be very detrimental to human beings, as it can make one very sick. Nitrous oxide, another by-product, is undesired and to be kept inside the atmosphere due to its destructive capabilities. The only solution is to halt all the intentional uses of in-organic nitrogen fertilizers. last growth may not occur naturally if inorganic nitrogen is present in the soil.