Girl Planting seeds

Reduce, reuse, recycle: The future of phosphorus

Phosphorus is one of the necessary ingredients for healthy crop growth and yields. When farms were smaller and self-sufficient, farmers harvested their crops, and nutrients rarely left the farm. The family or animals consumed the food, and the farmer could spread manure from their animals onto the soil to rebuild nutrients. This was a fairly closed-loop phosphorus cycle.  But, as the world's population increased, so did food and nutrition needs. More of a farmer's harvest, and therefore nutrients, was sold off the farm. Agriculture adapted by developing many new growing methods, as well as fertilizers. Most phosphorus fertilizers use the world's supply of phosphate rock as a main ingredient. That main modern source is a finite resource and it's running out. Phosphate rock is also hard to mine and process.  Read more....

 

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