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Excessive phosphate fertilizer use can reduce microbial functions critical to crop health

Phosphorus is crucial for plant growth -- with it, plants can acquire, transfer, and store the energy that helps them flourish in full health. Without it, plants flounder: they're stunted, discolored, and produce low yields. For this reason, farmers and gardeners often apply phosphate fertilizers (P-fertilizer) to increase the amount of phosphorus in their soil. However, a recent study finds that excessive P-fertilizer may actually hurt the plants it is trying to help by altering the composition and function of the microbes in the soil.  Read more...

 

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