Chemistry for Farmers


is the birthday of Justus Freiherr von Liebig, an organic chemist born in 1803 who is considered the founder of modern agricultural chemistry.

Von Liebig helped systematize organic chemistry after studying bitter almond oil (benzaldehyde). He was the first to establish a laboratory devoted to the training of young chemists, who soon came from all over Europe to study research methodology with him at the University of Giessen in Germany.

Von Liebig also promoted the practical application of chemistry. In his 1840 book, "Organic Chemistry in Its Application to Agriculture and Physiology," von Liebig suggested that mineral fertilizers should be added to soil to replace depleted minerals; the advice, which farmers took to heart, had a huge impact.

[Source: Britannica Online]