Michael L. Agnew, Ph.D.TurfTFM4, Iowa State University, 1992

Natural organic nitrogen sources have been a staple in golf course management for years. They are valued for their low burn potential and long-lasting effects on Turfgrass. But today, synthetic fertilizers are produced in mass quantities at significantly lower costs than their organic counterparts. The benefits once obtained only from natural organic products can now be found in less expensive synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
What benefits do natural organic nitrogen sources have over the synthetic versions?

Benefits claimed by manufactures of organic fertilizer include reduced disease activity, reduced thatch buildup, thatch reduction, reduced soil compaction and reduced nitrate movement. However, investigation of these claims first requires an understanding of just what can be called a “natural organic nitrogen fertilizer.”


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