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TVA fertilizer technology used worldwide -- but few new products since 1970s
Date:8/25/2008

anotechnology and molecular biology, especially in conjunction with plant genetics research. 'Smart' fertilizer products that will release nutrients only at the time and in the amount needed should be developed." Borlaug served on the IFDC Board of Directors from 1994 to 2003.

"The world needs a major research effort to improve the effectiveness of fertilizer production and use," says Peter McPherson, President of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and current Chairman of the IFDC Board. "Fertilizer is a commodity industry and it is unlikely the industry alone will undertake the research. Some public investment is probably required."

During the U.N. Food Summit in June 2008 in Rome, more than 180 world leaders addressed the food crisis and stressed the urgent need "to decisively step up investment in science and technology for food and agriculture."

IFDC Facilities

"The need for increased food is escalating, but new agricultural technology is not keeping pace," Roy says. "An effective research program to develop a new range of fertilizers should be a key element of any long-term strategy to alleviate the food crisis.

"Most fertilizer products used today were developed when energy seemed abundant and cheap. But with rising prices we should develop a new generation of fertilizer products that use plant nutrients more efficiently.

"Such innovations will require investments in researchbut such costs would be miniscule compared to the benefits for humanity," Roy says.

"IFDC is in a unique position to meet this challenge. We're the world's only agency with the necessary facilities and expertise. We have both the physical and human resources to do the job. IFDC has a complex of six pilot plants for research and training in fertilizer development and production plus a highly qualified team of scientists and engineers. We also have the international contacts
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Contact: Dr. Thomas Hargrove
thargrove@ifdc.org
256-381-6600
IFDC
Source:Eurekalert  

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