Agricultural development has been closely linked to the rise of human civilization. During the past half-century, the "green revolution" allowed a tripling of global food production, while world population grew steeply from 3 to 6 billion people. Expected to grow to around 8.5 billion people by 2030, food production will need to increase again by more than 50%. Land suitable for conversion to agriculture is dwindling, therefore maximizing yield from the existing agricultural surface is a necessity.
Since the 19th century, we have known that if one of the nutrients required by a crop is deficient or lacking, plant growth will be poor, even when all other nutrients are abundant. If the deficient element is supplied, growth will increase up to the point when another nutrient becomes the limiting factor. With each harvest, nutrients are exported from the field with crops, depleting the soil. Mineral fertilizers are therefore applied to replace the missing nutrients, ensuring an optimal balance for plant growth.
From a climate change perspective, nitrogen (N) is the most important nutrient, while phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) have minor impacts
Today, almost half of the world population relies on mineral fertilizers for their food. However, agriculture also raises environmental concerns regarding climate change and global warming. Are agricultural productivity and sustainability compatible? What about GHG emissions from fertilizer production and application?
Yara, with our century long knowledge and experience in production and application of plant nutrients, believe that sustainable agriculture is part of a solution to climate change. Using Yara’s proven low-carbon footprint fertilizers and best practice application tools, the carbon footprint of crop production can be decreased by more than 50% while saving land and maintaining yields.