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Taiwan・s Land Has an Imbalance of Nutrition
When raising a child, parents in Taiwan always say, ：Finish your bowl of rice.； Taiwan has a lot of white and plump children as a result, but they are over-nutrition.
So are Taiwan・s farmers. When tending farm crops, their common practice is to use fertilizers time and again. As a result, large amounts of unnecessary fertilizers are left in soil and then sink into groundwater, causing contamination.
Both children and crops need nutrition to grow up, but they need balanced nutrition. Nutrition for crops, of course, refers mainly to fertilizers.
Fertilizers can be classified by variety as organic, chemical or microbe fertilizer; they can be classified by nature as straight, compound or multiple fertilizer; if classified by efficiency, there are readily available and slow release fertilizers.
Many people believe that organic and microbe fertilizers came into existence after chemical fertilizers. In fact, even before man existed, various varieties of plants had been growing with microbes producing many organic fertilizers. Since man came into existence, their urines and excrements have also become organic fertilizers. But when chemical fertilizers appeared, organic and microbe fertilizers have declined because of chemical fertilizers have readily available effects.
However, since Taiwan farmers have used too much chemical fertilizer too often due to their usefulness, there are some adverse effects. And excessive use of chemical fertilizers has especially led to their being called ：bad elements.； This is quite unfair for chemical fertilizers.
Unlike agricultural chemicals, fertilizers have no toxicity because they won・t leave any residue on farm produce. But they do have adverse effects. For instance, the excessive fertilizers not absorbed by farm crops will sink into aquifer and contaminate groundwater or acidify soils which, in turn, affect agricultural production.
：How to use fertilizers correctly is a branch of knowledge. And more than 80% of farmers in Taiwan still don・t know how to use fertilizers correctly,； said Tan Tseng-wei, a researcher at Agricultural Chemistry Division of the Agricultural Research Institute, the Council of Agriculture.
The Agricultural Research Institute had conducted surveys while hosting fertilizer-related seminars and demonstrations. They found out that 90% of attendees did not fully understand the instructions printed on fertilizer packs, and 80% were not clear about the functions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three main nutrients in fertilizer. In other words, farmers in Taiwan are ：using fertilizers with closed eyes.；
Using too much fertilizer is not necessarily good for farm crops. For example, when cultivating seedlings, use too much fertilizer will lead to crop underdevelopment or even injury. If farmers use too much nitrogen when crops are growing, the crops will be lush with a good appetite. But since all nutrients are absorbed by branches and leaves, the crops can only produce poor fruits or even become barren.
：If crops absorb too much of a certain element, sometimes it will affect the absorbing of other elements. For instance, paddy rice does not need much potassium. If there is too much potassium, paddy rice will not absorb magnesium (which is called antagonism in chemistry),； explained Tan. Just like man do not have much appetite for dinner after eating too many snacks.
Unfortunately, it seems Taiwan・s soil lacks magnesium often. Without magnesium in soil, even if the fertilizers used by farmers contain sufficient magnesium, crops will certainly not grow well if they do not absorb the nutrient.
Many examples have clearly shown that the problem with fertilizers lies mainly in their use. Whether it is chemical, organic or microbe fertilizer, use it correctly is the right way.