What does pesticides and fertilizers do to soil quality?



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    Pesticides harm or kill all of the organic life in the soil, much of which is an important part of the soil food web. “Cide” means kill, and that is what pesticides do. There are a number of beneficial microbes in the soil, but the pesticides kill them as well. Centipedes, earthworms, and any other important organic life is killed (as well as any harmful bugs and microbes). Fertilizers that are synthetic or chemical based can leave traces of heavy metals in the soil, and they also throw off the balance of the soil. Organic fertilizers are typically slow release and contain smaller ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. As well, they often contain humic acid, which helps make the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium usable for the plants.

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