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IFDC Launches Virtual Fertilizer Research Center
Date:2/23/2010

s or runoff that fouls streams and lakes.

The production of one ton of urea, the predominant nitrogen fertilizer product, requires the energy equivalent of four barrels of oil. Inefficiencies in production and use result in less than 20 percent of the phosphate mined to produce phosphorus fertilizer ever becoming a part of the food chain. Yet, over the past 25 years, no “new” efficient fertilizer product has been developed – particularly no product affordable for use on food crops by farmers in less developed countries.

With a billion hungry people, it is unacceptable to condone such crop nutrient waste. With global climate change and declining biodiversity, it is also unacceptable to continue the unnecessary pollution of our environment. The world needs a “new generation” of fertilizer products and processes that make more efficient use of available resources.

In a January 2008 letter to Roy, the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and father of the Green Revolution, said, “The work of the Green Revolution is not yet finished and I believe it will take a new round of technological advancement, political commitment, commercial development and a lot of hard work to complete the job.”

Borlaug’s letter to Roy continued, “We need to develop new products that will deliver just the nutrients that the growing plants require and to diminish environmental externalities. We need to invest in this sort of advanced fertilizer research and we need to coordinate it with advanced plant genetic research so that we can achieve synergy between more efficient use of available nutrients by plants and more efficient delivery of nutrients by fertilizer products. And we need to develop systems that can make these products cheaper and more accessible to farmers. We need to cut the cost of food production so that developing country farmers can produce affordable food to fe
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