The overuse of chemical fertilizers strip the soil of important bacteria and microbial organisms. This leads to nutrient deficient, compacted soil, an unhealthy environment for plants and reduced profits.
The twentieth century had to solve the challenge of providing a safe and secure food supply to over six billion people. Increasing competition for prime agricultural land due to urban development added a further complication: a need for high-yield crops in limited space. Chemical fertilizers became the solution and the norm in latter 20th century agricultural practice.
Unfortunately repeated, overuse of chemical fertilizers to increase yield strips the soil of fundamental organisms and nutrients. This disrupts the balanced relationship between soil, plant and the ecosystem leading to decreased soil fertility. Soil becomes hard and compacted, unable to retain moisture or sustain healthy plant growth.
As the soil becomes depleted, it creates a positive environment for disease and pests, putting already weakened plants even more at risk. To sustain yields, more chemical fertilizer, fungicides and pesticides are needed, creating a costly cycle of soil nutrient depletion and fertilizer dependence.