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What can be the impact of excessive/inappropriate use of nitrogenous fertilizers in agriculture?

1. Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in soil can occur.
2. Increase in the acidity of soil can take place.
3. Leaching of nitrate to the ground-water can occur.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3



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Proliferation of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in soil: This statement is not correct. Excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers can actually reduce the activity of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms because plants have an abundant supply of nitrogen from the fertilizers, reducing their dependence on nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Increase in the acidity of soil: This statement is correct. Nitrogenous fertilizers can contribute to soil acidification over time. Ammonium-based fertilizers, in particular, can increase soil acidity, affecting the pH and nutrient availability for plants.

Leaching of nitrate to groundwater: This statement is correct. Nitrogen in the form of nitrate is highly soluble in water. When excessive nitrogenous fertilizers are applied, the excess nitrate can leach through the soil and reach groundwater. This can lead to nitrate contamination in drinking water sources, which can be harmful to human health, especially for infants.


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