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A large, modern fertilizer spreader
A Lite-Trac Agri-Spread lime and fertilizer spreader at an agricultural show

A fertilizer (American English) or fertiliser (British English; see spelling differences) is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soil or to plant tissues to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. Many sources of fertilizer exist, both natural and industrially produced.[1]

In the later half of the 20th century, increased use of nitrogen fertilizers (800% increase between 1961 and 2019) have been a crucial component of the increased productivity of conventional food systems (more than 30% per capita).[2] According to the IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land, these practices are key drivers of global warming.[2]