Agricultural Chemistry

What is Agricultural Chemistry?

Agricultural chemistry is a science concerned with ways to influence chemical and biochemical processes in soil and plants, with plant mineral nutrition and with using fertilizers and other chemical means to improve fertility and increase yield.

It also addresses several other ways to increase yield, such as herbicides and stimulants for growth, and serves as the scientific basis for the introduction of chemical processes into agriculture.

Agricultural chemistry is related to both chemical and biological sciences in its aims, processes, and research topics. It is also closely linked to soil science, forestry, meteorology, plant and biochemistry, agricultural microbiology, physics and chemistry. 

Its main subdivisions are plant nutrition, soil and fertilizer interactions, evaluation of specific types and types of fertilizers and their methods of application, soil improvement by chemical means.

For example: Application of lime or gypsum and research into and usage weed control chemicals.


Agricultural Chemistry Definition:

The science of chemistry and biochemistry in its connection to agriculture, in 


Importance of Agricultural Chemistry

Chemistry is considered as one of the important tools in our daily lives. Almost everything is made up of chemistry. It is important because it helps us to understand the structure, composition, and changes of matter. 

All matters are made of chemistry. Chemistry is the science behind most of the agricultural products that we mostly use, from food production to the manufacture of products like fertilizers.

Chemistry is concerned with compounds, both organic and inorganic, and agriculture is concerned with the production of organic products using organic and inorganic inputs. Therefore, Chemistry is an integral part of farming from molecular to organ level.

 From the basics of photosynthesis to the use of agricultural products chemistry plays a role. The advances in this practice are due only to active research carried out in the field of chemistry and then to this applications that cause the land to produce more abundantly and at the same time protect it from deterioration and misuse. 

Importance of Chemistry in Agriculture can be Classified as Follows:

Photosynthesis:

For all agricultural products this natural process provides the basic building block.

The overall process is well shown by the net equation below:

CO2 + H2O ------> C6H12O6 + O2 

To life on earth no chemical process is more important than photosynthesis. Without photosynthesis, there would not only be no plants, nor could the planet sustain any kind of life. Research in this field has contributed to understanding of the mechanism and thus optimizing the conditions for maximizing this process


Fertilizers

Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic substance of natural or synthetic origin applied to a soil to provide one or more plant nutrients that are essential for plant growth.

Fertilizers can be divided into two categories: 

  • Organic substances

  • Inorganic substances


Organic Fertilizers:

These fertilizers are produced from living systems and also from animal manure, compost, fish and bone meal. These organic fertilizers are broken down into the soil by microorganisms to release their nutrients for plant use.

Chemical fertilizers are less complex and have high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and Sulphur in the soil.


Inorganic Fertilizer

Inorganic fertilizer are the substances that are synthesized through the Haber-Bosch process, which results in ammonia as the end product. This ammonia is used in many fertilizers with nitrogen such as anhydrous ammonium nitrate, and urea. Now fertilizers have been developed, with slow nutrient release.

Effective use of fertilizers to raise crop yields has counterbalanced land loss due to urbanization and significantly helped global population growth, it has been estimated that nearly half of the world 's population is currently fed through synthetic nitrogen fertilizer usage.


Pesticides and Insecticides: 

A large variety of chemicals known as pesticides are used to minimize the damage of the crops by pests. Subclasses of this are, based on their purpose, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, pediculicides and biocides. More safe and greener pesticides are being developed with active research in this field.

Insecticides are poisons used to kill insects because they can spread diseases of the cattle, consume stored grain and prey on crops. But not all insects are bad, and some species of insects are required to pollinate plants to ensure seed is set. Such chemicals prevent insects and other animals from destroying their crops


Chemistry in Other Areas of Agriculture:

Plastic Pipes for Improved Irrigation

Plastic was derived from chemistry, and is commonly used in cultivation. This has massively increased irrigation resulting in a better climate in which the crops grow.


Storage and Preservation of Agriculture Products

Sulfur dioxide is used for a longer period of time to keep the grain fresh and usable. For longer shelf life food preservatives such as sodium benzoate and salicylic acid are used. The development of new generation refrigerants.

Chemicals are added to encourage fruit maturing or seed germination. Food packaging has progressed due to the material produced as a result of advances in chemistry. Agricultural chemistry has increased the diversity of the human diet and increased overall food availability, both for animals and plants.


Food Processing

Saccharin and Sweetener Development, Vitamins and Minerals. Consumers have benefited from new technologies that have increased their food's flavour, appearance, availability and nutritional value.


Chemicals from Agriculture Waste: 

Advancement in chemistry has led to the development of technologies for producing a variety of agricultural waste chemicals. A good example is the processing of bagasse alcohol which is used as a feedstock for chemicals.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is Chemistry Used in Agriculture?

It is obvious that chemistry has played a significant role in increasing the yield of animal products and crops through the development of pesticides, fertilizers, and antibiotics. A branch of chemistry is known as organic chemistry which plays a significant role in the production of these chemicals.

2. Why is Agricultural Chemistry Important?

Chemistry deals with organic and inorganic compounds, and agriculture deals with the production of organic products using both organic and inorganic materials, thereby being an integral part of agriculture from molecular to organic.

3. How Do You Explain Agriculture?

Agriculture is the art and science of soil cultivation, crop growing, and livestock rearing. It includes preparing plant and animal products for use by people, and distributing them to markets. Agriculture provides most of the food and textiles worldwide.

4. What Do Agricultural Chemists Do?

Protects the food supply of the country (such as maize and dairy cows) and helps farmers maintain thriving crops. This can be done by improving the control of pests or disease prevention, enhancing the soil composition, or even identifying the exact day to plant the crop.