The Plant nutrition courier newsletter publishes six times a year about plant nutrition related research. On this news page we give previews and we post plant nutrition related news that is beyond the scope of the newsletter but that still may be of interest.
 
Demonstration project fostering phosphorus recycling

  27-09-2012  

The Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin (KWB - Berlin Centre of Competence for Water) heads new EU-funded demonstration project fostering phosphorus recycling from wastewater.  In close cooperation with partners from science, industry sectors and agricultural professionals, the best practice recycling methods will be evaluated. Besides different technical solutions, these methods explicitly include also the direct use of wastewater in agriculture. The project aims to increase the recycling rate of phosphorus from wastewater to 80 %. In addition to the evaluation of the phosphorus yield, systematic investigations will also be carried out on the fertilising effect of the recycling products. Furthermore, the market potential of the individual recycling schemes and recycling products will be analysed. The targeted recycling of...

Read more

Phosphate problem less urgent than expected

  21-09-2012  

Producing sufficient and proper food for the global population in 2050 will probably require 40% less phosphate than was previously assumed, which means that the phosphate supply will last longer than expected. This is the conclusion of research carried out by Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, and published in the scientific magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (see abstract ). For the first time the scientists used computer models capable of taking into account the amount of phosphate left behind in the soil after harvesting a fertilised crop. This enabled a more precise calculation of the required quantity of phosphate, particularly for land on which more phosphate than necessary has been used for years on end. Read more Scource: Wageningen UR

Read more

Study offers new hope for increasing global food production, reducing environmental impact of agriculture

  21-09-2012  

Can we have enough to eat and a healthy environment, too? Yes—if we’re smart about it, suggests a study published in Nature (see abstract ) by a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and McGill University in Montreal. Global demand for food is expected to double by 2050 due to population growth and increased standards of living. To meet this demand, it is often assumed we will need to expand the environmental burden of agriculture. The paper, based on analysis of agricultural data gathered from around the world, offers hope that with more strategic use of fertilizer and water, we could not only dramatically boost global crop yield, but also reduce the adverse environmental impact of agriculture. "We have often seen these two goals as a trade-off:  We could either have more food, or a...

Read more

Mineral scarcity poses global risk for agriculture and public health

  21-09-2012  

Large parts of the world's agricultural soils are deficient in minerals such as zinc. This limits food and feed production and leads to nutrient deficiency diseases in humans and livestock. In the coming decades, such minerals will probably become much more expensive or even scarce world-wide. This risk should be prioritised in European policies on agriculture, raw materials, development cooperation and innovation. This is the conclusion of a report and advisory memorandum for the Dutch government prepared by the Dutch Platform for Agriculture, Innovation and Society. Zinc deficiencies occur on a large scale in agricultural soils in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the north-western region of South America. Every year, an estimated 800,000 people die from zinc deficiency diseases, primarily in developing companies –...

Read more