Crops require fertilizer when they cannot draw all the nutrients they need to grow from the soil. Many farms, particularly large monocultures, choose to supplement fertilizer for the natural processes that traditional restore nutrients to soil. For instance,, corn crops use up large amounts of Nitrogen from the soil, and rather than wait several months for microscopic bacteria to replenish nitrogen supplies in the soil so corn can grow again, it is quicker and easier to dump a lot of fertilizer to replace the nutrients that are missing. This is one of the main reasons yields have skyrocketed since World War II, because it has been easier to alter the natural path of nature than to act as a slave to it.
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