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Fertilizer will play critical role in producing enough food to feed future world population


At the recent annual meeting of American feed and fertilizer control officials, an expert stressed that fertilizer is vital to production of food to feed the world in the future.

Julie Borlaug, assistant director of partnerships in the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M University, said in her keynote speech at the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials meeting in Austin, that food production would need to be doubled by 2050 to meet future demand.

“This will have to be done on approximately the same area of arable land using fewer resources, particularly fossil fuel, water and nitrogen at a time when we must also mitigate some enormous challenges associated with climate change as we have seen with the drought in the Horn of Africa and here in Texas,” she said.

Compounding the issue is the current critical and humanitarian need to “alleviate poverty, hunger and malnutrition,” Borlaug said.

Borlaug, whose grandfather, the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Freedom, pioneered high-yielding wheat for areas that had limited cultivation for land and increasing populations. Borlaug’s developments transformed agricultural production in Mexico during the 1940s and 1950s, and later in Asia and Latin America, sparking the Green Revolution.

Julie Borlaug’s speech was part of two main meetings held in Austin and hosted by the Office of the State Chemist, headquartered in College Station.

Dr. Tim Herrman, State Chemist and director, said the Association of American Control Officials annual meeting brought together feed and plant-food control officials and industry leaders across the nation.

“The purpose of this gathering is to bring together experts in animal feed and fertilizer to craft science-based policy pertaining to the future of food security and food protection,” Herrman said. “We address these two issues with science-based solutions that protect consumers and enhance agribusiness that instill confidence and facilitate trade.”

The Association of American Feed Control Officials meeting featured Dr. Lynn Post, a Food and Drug Administration veterinary medical officer.

In his keynote address, Post said Texas is a “laboratory of innovation.”

Post began his duties stationed at the Office of the State Chemist in February this year, working as a liaison between the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine and the Office of the State Chemist

“States can innovate and launch new programs and ideas faster than FDA,” Post said.

To carry this forward, Post is serving as a team member of the Texas Rapid Response Team as a toxicology expert, advising the State Chemist office and other state government agencies on toxicology issues for feed and food in addition to his federal work with FDA.

“We think this is a model for federal-state collaboration and provides a great opportunity for innovation in food security and protection,” Herrman said.

5 Comments on "Fertilizer will play critical role in producing enough food to feed future world population"

  1. MrEnergyCzar on Sat, 27th Aug 2011 2:30 am 

    Buy Potash stock.. (POT)…. they can only mine so much of it…

  2. pike on Sat, 27th Aug 2011 6:14 am 

    A extremely poorly researched article. There are shit loads of untapped Potash reserves in Eritrea.

    Just because existing supplys of Potash are become increasingly depleted dose not mean the world has a long term Potash supply problem.

    Stop pushing panic on the internet with out a sound knowledge base in reality. Go fish and never believe anything you read on the internet.

  3. BillT on Sat, 27th Aug 2011 12:21 pm 

    Potash will not matter, even if there were mountains of it. Topsoil and water are more of a problem, or I should say, the lack of topsoil and water. Then there is the shrinking oil supplies problem that make corporate farms possible, not to mention the oil fired cargo ships that transport it around the world or even cross country.

    The fact is, billions will die of starvation over the next 20+ years and the world population will top out at much less than 8 billion and shrink fast. If there are 5 billion of us left in 2050, that will be surprising.

  4. Bob Owens on Sat, 27th Aug 2011 3:25 pm 

    The initial Green Revolution gave the world plenty of food for the last 50 years. That buffer has now been used up by expanding population. It is pointless to try this hat trick again unless we face the facts that we MUST control our numbers. Wake up World! Stop being stupid.

  5. Kenz300 on Sat, 27th Aug 2011 5:07 pm 

    Too few resources and too many people.
    This will not end well for those without resources. The ever growing world population is not sustainable.

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