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Farmers often use fertilizers to improve their crops but do fertilizers really make difference?

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Introduction

Farmers often use fertilizers to improve their crops but do fertilizers really make difference? Farmers often use fertilizers to improve their crops. For our year 10 coursework we have to find if the fertilizers actually make a difference. To aid us in compleating this task we have been given the following pieces of equipment: - 10 Marrow Seeds 5 Plastic Cups Compost Water Liquid Fertilizer Weighing Scales Measuring Cylinder Because the question asks if fertilizers make a difference, I need to have a control pot, with just marrow seeds and water in. In the other cups I will have different amounts of liquid fertilizer in them. Because I have 10 marrow seeds, I will put 2 marrow seeds into each cup: - meaning that I can have 5 cups, one of which will be a control - leaving me with 4 cups to alter the variable in. In this experiment the variable is the amount of fertilizer, because the question asks if fertilizers make a difference. These are my first thoughts on the amount of liquid fertilizer in each cup. Cup Amount of fertilizer Control (cup 1) 0mls Cup 2 5mls Cup 3 10mls Cup 4 15mls Cup 5 20mls In each of the cups I am planning to have 50 grams of compost - I must ensure that each cup has exactly 50 grams of compost to make the experiment fair. ...read more.

Middle

This means that the concentration of the fertilizer could also be altered, but this would also alter the consistancy and the "fluidity". For example pure fertilzer would be very highly concentrated, so less would be needed. However it would be a solid and harder to apply. Farmers use liquid fertilizer because it is easy to apply to large areas and is quite econimcal. Plants need quite a number of chemical eliments to grow and sustain their life's well. Some of which are availiable in large quantities easily, these include Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Although the other nutrients are in (most) soil the 3 main ones which are not got from the air are Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - these are the main chemicals in fertilizers. What the 3 main chemical elements do: *Phosphorus increases the speed of root growth, root branching, stem growth, flowering, fruiting, seed formation, and maturation. *Potassium aids the plant to be able to withstand difficulties such as drought and desiese. *Nitrogen is needed for the greeness and health of a plant. From my background research I predict that more fertilizer on the plants would mean that the faster they grow, I say this because the fertilizer contains at least one of the three elements needed to sustain life: Therefore in larger quanitities the plant should grow faster, and better. ...read more.

Conclusion

for this experiment turned out as I had expected however it was a difficult experiment to gain accurate results for as each plant is different and therefore has a different growth rate. It is not possible to tell before the start of the experiment which seeds will germinate therefore not all the plants will grow, if one plant doesn't grow then this affects all the results as the plant in the same pot which did grow would have more fertiliser than it would if both had grown therefore it would not be an accurate result. Even if all the plants germinate the results are not very exact as some plants were a lot bigger than the other one in the same pot, however taking the average of both plants in the same pot gives me a more accurate set of results. For more accurate results I could have grown more plants with the same amounts of fertiliser and taken the average of those as well, this would also have shown me any anomalous results. I think the range of results I have is good because it shows how the increases decrease as the mass of the plants are bigger, if I had used a larger amount of fertiliser I think that my results would have stopped increasing at all and therefore would not be very helpful. The results I got were accurate for the experiment I did. ...read more.

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