Justus Von Liebig's Law of the Minimum: The Social Implications of His Theory

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THE LAW OF THE MINIMUM 3 Explain Justus Von Liebig's Law of the Minimum: Describe the social implications of his theory "Justus von Liebig's Law of the Minimum states that yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient, whichever nutrient it may be" (Barak 2000). This means that to improve crop growth, it is essential to increase the availability of the scarcest nutrient, not simply increase the total amount of nutrients available in a fertilizer at one time. "As a result of millennia of practical experience of farmers manuring fields to improve fertility, many early chemists thought that the 'principle of vegetation,' the essential nutrients needed for plant growth, were organic in nature rather than mineral. Liebig essentially debunked the humus theory and made a scientific case for plant requirements for mineral elements from the soil, carbon from CO2 in the air, and H and O2 from water" (Barak 2000). It was not the soil in general that was necessary for the crop to grow but rather what was in the soil, much like it is not simply 'food' that is necessary for human beings to be healthy but specific nutrients within their food. The immediate implication of Liebig's law is that specific types of fertilizers can be developed to enhance crop yields, rather than just using manure. Liebig is called the 'father of the fertilizer' industry (Law of the Minimum, n.d., Avocado Source). He designed fertilizers specifically engineered to treat deficiencies

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