IATE Term of the Week: Mineral Fertiliser


Trilogue talks recently commenced between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union on the need to reduce the number of contaminants in agricultural products such as fertilisers and phosphates, as well as a host of other environment-related issues. One of the subjects that will feature prominently in these discussions is that of mineral fertilisers. This is particularly relevant at the moment as MEPs voted to ban the use of glyphosate in agricultural fertilisers towards the end of last year, and agricultural industries are now eagerly awaiting the result of these latest talks. For this reason, we have chosen mineral fertiliser as the latest IATE Term of the Week.


Let’s take a closer look at what a mineral fertiliser is and why they are used. Mineral fertilisers can be both natural and synthetic (manufactured by industrial processes), and the number of nutrients they contain can vary. For example, you can find single-nutrient fertilisers as well as multi-nutrient fertilisers. They can also differ in the way that they are mixed; mixed fertilisers are a physical mixture of two or more single or multi-nutrient fertilisers, while complex fertilisers come from chemical mixtures. Fertilisers can come in the form of a solid, liquid or gas, and act at different speeds with some working quickly and other types needing a longer time to take effect.

Even though soil naturally has nutrients and can be used to grow any number of different crops, the demand can often outweigh the yield when it comes to agricultural produce. For this reason, fertilisers are used to give added nutrients to the soil in order to allow it to give a greater yield. In this way, farmers and agricultural industries can grow more and therefore sell more. However, there has been a lot of debate recently as to the possible dangers and negative effects of the the chemicals that are being used for this purpose. We should hear some updates about this situation in the near future, but one thing that’s certain is that this argument will be continuing for a long time to come.

You can check out our entry for mineral fertiliser in IATE below:

IATE mineral fertiliser 1 IATE mineral fertiliser 2


We hope you enjoyed this article. Join us on Friday for the next entry. In the meantime, feel free to check out all our previous IATE Terms of the Week here!


Mineral fertiliser banner



  • Safer Phosphates, ‘Fertilizers’. Available here [accessed on 09/02/18].

Written by

Liam Kennedy – Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. Graduate of Journalism with a Language (French) at Dublin Institute of Technology. Completed a Masters in Translation Studies at University College Cork.