UArkansas asks: Is farm pond fertilization necessary?

Around this time of year, people who own farm ponds are starting to consider fertilizing their ponds. But, according to Dr. Nathan Stone, Extension fisheries specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, fertilization may not even be necessary at all. Stone says that fertilization is only really essential if owners are trying to cultivate more fish or if the pond is not already fertile. In fact, fertilizing a pond that already has weed problems can cause more problems. “Fertilizing when nuisance weeds are already established is like throwing gasoline on a fire,” Dr. Stone said. “If fish in ponds will be fed, usually there is no need to fertilize, as the uneaten feed and fish wastes will serve as fertilizer. While some increase in fertility may be beneficial, too many nutrients lead to dense algae blooms, oxygen depletions and even fish kills.”

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