Fertilizers and biological nitrogen fixation as sources of plant nutrients: Perspectives for future agriculture
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Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) has an assured place in agriculture, mainly as a source of nitrogen for legumes. Legumes are currently grown mostly as a source of vegetable oil and as food for humans and animals, but not as nitrogen source.
Other crops with BNF capability may be eventually be developed eventually. Such crops will also need mineral fertilizers to maintain a good status of soil nutrients, but their possible effects to the environment is also a concern. Fertilizers, however, will remain a necessary and sustainable input to agriculture to feed the present and increasing human population. It is not a case of whether BNF is better or worse than mineral fertilizers because both plays an important role in agriculture.
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