Yara has prepared a list of interesting Fertilizer Facts to highlight the role of fertilizers in helping to feed the world's growing population and the importance of crop nutrition.
1. Fertilizers help to feed half of the World’s population
The importance of taking care of soil has long been recognized and throughout history many civilizations have understood the vital importance of soils: “The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” - Franklin D Roosevelt, 1937“
To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” - Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 362 BC
2. Yara fertilizers help feed nearly 240,000,000 people per day
The ‘ideal’ soil should contain air, water minerals and organic matter in the correct proportions. This will allow the soil to function properly and supply the nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth.
3. Two out of every five people owe their lives to fertilizer
“Two out of every five people owe their lives to fertilizer... and every day, this number increases.” Bill Gates
4. Without fertilizer world food production would be halved
The value of fertilizers can be shown by considering the consequences if fertilizer use was to stop. The best estimates are agricultural output in Western Europe would be reduced by 40 - 50% in the short term and in North America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Australasia by around 30%.
5. “What are fertilizers?” Simple answer “Food for plants”
“What are fertilizers?”
The simple answer is that fertilizers are food for plants.
6. Yara was founded in 1905 to help solve the European famine
Yara was originally founded (as Norsk Hydro) in 1905 to help solve the emerging European famine.
7. Nitrogen was first fixed from the atmosphere in 1903
The Birkeland–Eyde process was one of the competing industrial processes in the beginning of nitrogen based fertilizer production. It was developed by Norwegian industrialist and scientist Kristian Birkeland along with his business partner Sam Eyde in 1903.
This process was used to fix atmospheric nitrogen into nitric acid, one of several chemical processes generally referred to as nitrogen fixation.
A factory based on the process was built in Rjukan and Notodden in Norway, combined with the building of large hydroelectric power facilities.
8. Yara was the World’s first producer of nitrogen fertilizer
Did you know Yara (then Norsk Hydro) was the Worlds first producer of nitrogen fertilizer (Norgessalpeter) in 1905?
9. Nitrogen was first fixed on an industrial scale in 1913 by Haber-Bosche
The Haber–Bosch process is an artificial nitrogen fixation process and is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia. It is named after its inventors, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who developed it in the first half of the 20th century. The process converts atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia by a reaction with hydrogen using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures.
Previously ammonia had been difficult to produce on an industrial scale with early methods such as the Birkeland–Eyde process being less efficient.
10. 13 mineral nutrients are required for plant growth
As well as the primary nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) plants also need secondary nutrients (Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulphur) and the micronutrients (Boron, Zinc, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum and Chlorine).
All of the nutrients have to be supplied to the plant from the soil and can be supplement by fertilizers.
11. Nitrogen is the most important fertilizer
Nitrogen has the greatest influence on crop yield through its role in chlorophyll and protein production.
12. Phosphorus is the most important nutrient for root development
Phosphorus stimulates root development and helps plants to build stronger roots and become established earlier in the season.
13. Potassium helps crops resist stress
Potassium encourages healthy growth and renders crops more resistant to stress such as drought and disease.
14. Sulphur is needed for plants to use nitrogen efficiently
Sulphur is a key nutrient, required for protein synthesis. Without sufficient S plants are unable to use nitrogen efficiently so yield and quality both suffer.
15. All fertilizer should be fully traceable in case problems
Did you know all Yara fertilizer comes with full traceability – 100%?
In a recent survey 59% of ‘other’ fertilizer couldn’t be traced.
16. Fertilizer manufacture consumes 1.2% of world energy
Fertilizer production only consumes 1.2% of the World’s total energy on an annual basis.
17. Fertilizers allow better use of scarce water resources
Fertilizers allow crops to better establish more efficient root systems so increasing water use efficiency in times of drought. More from every drop.
18. Fertilizers can help avoid deforestation
Fertilizers avoid the need to destroy further areas of natural forest or grassland by improving productivity from farmed land.