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Improved phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture: A key requirement for its sustainable use.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21349568     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Mineral phosphorus (P) fertilizers processed from fossil reserves have enhanced food production over the past 50years and, hence, the welfare of billions of people. Fertilizer P has, however, not only been used to lift the fertility level of formerly poor soils, but also allowed people to neglect the reuse of P that humans ingest in the form of food and excrete again as faeces and urine and also in other organic wastes. Consequently, P mainly moves in a linear direction from mines to distant locations for crop production, processing and consumption, where a large fraction eventually may become either agronomically inactive due to over-application, unsuitable for recycling due to fixation, contamination or dilution, and harmful as a polluting agent of surface water. This type of P use is not sustainable because fossil phosphate rock reserves are finite. Once the high quality phosphate rock reserves become depleted, too little P will be available for the soils of food-producing regions that still require P supplements to facilitate efficient utilization of resources other than P, including other nutrients. The paper shows that the amounts of P applied in agriculture could be considerably smaller by optimizing land use, improvement of fertilizer recommendations and application techniques, modified livestock diets, and adjustment of livestock densities to available land. Such a concerted set of measures is expected to reduce the use of P in agriculture whilst maintaining crop yields and minimizing the environmental impact of P losses. The paper also argues that compensation of the P exported from farms should eventually be fully based on P recovered from 'wastes', the recycling of which should be stimulated by policy measures.
Authors:
J J Schröder; A L Smit; D Cordell; A Rosemarin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-2-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Chemosphere     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-1298     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-2-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0320657     Medline TA:  Chemosphere     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Agrosystems Department, Plant Research International, Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 616, 6700 AP Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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