Improving phosphorus management

With a global population expected by some to reach 9 billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential nutrients such as phosphorus will be necessary to boost crop yields and stay one step ahead of steeply rising food demand. If an applied rate of phosphorus is less than optimum for a crop under existing conditions, and a practice such as fertilizer placement that increases nutrient use efficiency is changed, yield will usually increase, at least in the short term. However, in other cases, nutrient use efficiency can increase with no effect on yield if a rate exceeding optimum levels is reduced to optimum. “The key to producing higher yields and feeding the growing world population is not simply applying more fertilizer, as one might think,” said Kenneth Avery, CEO of Verdesian Life Sciences. “Rather, it is finding sustainable solutions for nutrients such as phosphorus to be used more efficiently and effectively to produce more food. “Increased plant uptake of phosphorus translates into less of that nutrient being left in the soil, where it is subject to off-site movement into waterways,” Avery continued. More