Today, October 13, represents the first ever Global Fertiliser Day to celebrate the important role fertiliser has played and will continue to play in food production.
Fertiliser is used by farmers around the world to increase the productivity of the soil they are farming by replacing nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the ground.
On the first annual Global Fertiliser Day, check out these 10 facts that underline the importance of fertiliser in agriculture today:
- October 13 marks the anniversary of the discovery of ammonia synthesis in 1908, by German Chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, a breakthrough to creating modern day fertilisers on an industrial scale.
- Yara, then Norsk Hydro, was the worlds first producer of nitrogen fertiliser in 1905.
- Fertilisers account for 50% of global food production consumed by both animals and humans.
- When applied at the optimum rate, 1kg of nitrogen will result in an extra 22kg of grain for most cereal crops.
- The world loses 10ac of farmland per minute, meaning less and less farmland will need to feed more and more people, increasing the need for fertiliser to improve productivity.
- The use of fertiliser can safeguard natural habitats and forests from being converted into farmland.
- Fertilisers feed plants for better, healthier, stronger yields that will feed the world for centuries to come.
- Over the next 50 years farmers will need to produce more food than has been grown over the past 10,000 years, fertilisers will play a large role in ensuring this.
- In 1960, one hectare of land fed two people. However by 2025, one hectare of land will need to feed five people.
- Fertilisers help farmers produce better yields from less land which promotes biodiversity.
Source: Yara and FertilizerDay.com