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Peak Phosphorus – Even More Important Than Peak Oil!

By   /  May 26, 2014  /  2 Comments

While substitutes can be found for many finite natural resources mined from the Earth—copper in phone lines can be replaced by fiber optics, steel in car bodies by composite plastics, and petroleum in transportation fuels by biodiesel or hydrogen cells—this is not the case for phosphorus in food production. The U.S. Geological Survey lists the following under the heading Substitutes for Phosphate Rock: “THERE ARE NO SUBSTITUTES FOR PHOSPHORUS . . . ”

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The 15th edition of this great book will be published in 2015 which is ALSO the International Year o
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About the author

Dr. Ray Weil is professor soil fertility and ecology at the University of Maryland and an internationally recognized leader in research on soil quality and in soil science and education. He has researched, taught and advised farmers in the U.S. and Africa and other regions on ecological approaches to soil management. His research and writing focuses on soil fertility, cover crops, nutrient cycling and organic matter for soil health, food security and water quality. He is best known for authoring the widely used textbook, "The Nature and Properties of Soils."

2 Comments

  1. Paul Nehring says:

    I remember good ol’ Dr. Skogley, my soil fertility professor, at Montana State Univ. lecturing us about peak phosphorous (back in 1995). I have heard little about it since then. Sadly, in Wisconsin, the big issue is too much phosphorous running off into waterways. It’s a problem that is increasing, not decreasing, despite decades of state and federal money to reduce runoff. The problem is getting worse thanks to federal policies supporting corn and soybeans that encourage farmers to plant more of them and rip up pastures and hay fields.

    Dr. Weil, I still have your textbook on my shelf, as it is a handy reference. Thanks for your work.

    • Ray Weil says:

      Paul,

      Thanks for your supportive comment. I knew Dr. Skogley and his soil testing resin ball:) Its the P in the livestock feed that gets most farms in P trouble. A pure grazier should’t have to worry much about that.

      Ray

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