Fertilizer Crisis ?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | 03:30 AM

Worldwide pressures on chemical fertilizer supplies have some Iowa farmers falling back on manure for soil nutrients.

American Farmers are using high density Hog Farming to collect hog manure -- turning what used to be effuvial runoff into nutrients.

click for Video

courtesy of the NYT


Shortages Threaten Farmers’ Key Tool: Fertilizer 
NYT, April 30, 2008   

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | 03:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)
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This keys exactly into the scrap metal trend raised on Tuesday: higher prices cause people of all stripes to consider the economic incentives of recycling and the economic cost of refusing to do so (ie. wasting resources and having to go to the open market and buy replacement resources).

George Washington Carver is a (not the) father of crop rotation as the principal tool to preserve soil fertility. The need to use fertilizer (esp. petroleum derived) is a symptom of poor land use. Our soil is a savings bank started at the end of the last Ice Age. If the principal is managed well, we can grow abundant crops off the interest forever. The use of chemical fertilizer is an object admission that we have drawn the principal down so far that it now requires a yearly artificial injection just to stay afloat.

Aldo Leopold wrote extensively about this in the 1930s.


Posted by: Douglas Watts | May 14, 2008 4:00:54 AM

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