10 Things I Didn’t Know About Phosphorus Fertilizer

Some great analysis on P/ee for thought… err, Food Policy for Thought!

Food (Policy) For Thought

Since my post about nitrogen fertilizer is still one of the most successful ones yet (who’d thought?), and I’ve been working non-stop this week on a paper to analyze phosphorus and its resource, phosphate rock, for a paper in my class Economic Growth and Sustainable Development, I thought I’d give you some insights into what I learned. Sit tight, since there are definitely a couple of things you’ll be surprised by…

1. First off, you’ll remember that there are three macronutrients that are needed for plant growth – nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). A German chemist called Justus von Liebig actually discovered this in the 1840s; before, people thought that plants got their energy somewhat mysteriously from other plants and animals decomposing in the soil which would transfer their life onward – but then came organic chemistry and people rejoiced at a quick and easy formula to make…

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