Difference Between Manure and Fertilizer

Manure vs Fertilizer

Just as our health and fitness is dependent upon what we eat, so is the produce of food crops from a piece of land upon the nutrition of the soil. Farmers know that the more they provide nutrients in the form of manures and fertilizers, the more they can reap the rewards in terms of higher produce. Manures and fertilizers are like conditioners for the soil as they help in providing nutrients that the soil may be deficient of. You can compare the soil with an automobile. Just as a car develops wear and tear with continuous running and constant use, so does the soil in a piece of land become deficient in several nutrients with continuous farming operations and manures and fertilizers help in replenishing these nutrients back to the soil. The differences in manures and fertilizers that will be harped upon in this article.


Fertilizers are made up of macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are called primary macro nutrients. They also contain secondary macro nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Other substances in smaller quantities are also present in fertilizers such as iron, copper, boron, chlorine, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Fertilizers are added externally to the soil either by adding to the soil itself or by spraying on to the leaves of the plants that gets carried into the soil. There are various types of fertilizers available in the market containing these macro nutrients in varying proportions and one can choose a fertilizer depending upon the health of his soil.

Fertilizers can be either natural (organic) or synthetic. Natural fertilizers are those that are derived from plants or animals while synthetic fertilizers are those made in a laboratory. While natural fertilizers never harm the quality of soil and do not damage the produce, overuse of synthetic fertilizers may harm the soil in the long run.


Manure is nothing but organic matter that is used as a fertilizer to increase the level of nutrients in a soil. Cow dung is natural manure that contains macro nutrients and help plants to grow rapidly. These organic products are rich in nitrogen and other vital macro nutrients and can be used whenever one feels that the quality of soil is going down. Now manures can be either derived from animals or obtained from plants. There are also compost manures. Feces of animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goat, rabbit and birds contain elements that are considered beneficial for the health of soil. Some plants have these nutrients in their parts such as leaves (e.g. Clover). Compost is manure that is hybrid in nature as it contains both animal and plant remains.

In brief:

Fertilizer vs Manure

• Fertilizers are products that are beneficial for the quality of soil

• Adding fertilizers in required quantity helps in increasing the yield. Manures are organic fertilizers

• Fertilizers can be inorganic also (synthetic fertilizers)

• Manures can be added to soil without any fear while inorganic fertilizers must be added after careful examination of the soil quality to decide which are the nutrients soil is lacking from.