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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Effect of storms, Soils

We had quite a lightning storm today, and it made me think of something a friend had told me. He used to farm in Eastern Washington, and he said that lightning was good for the soil and the crops. Is this pure folklore or does it have some scientific basis?

Answer:

This isn't just folklore. According to the Indiana Public Media's Moment of Science, "there is enough electrical energy in lightning to separate the nitrogen atoms in the air. Once the atoms are separated they can fall to earth with rain water, and combine with minerals in the soil to form nitrates, a type of fertilizer."

Date 2016-12-23
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April 11 2017 13:50:16