You Know about Peak Oil, but What About Peak Phosphorus?

A Rock and a Hard Place: Peak Phosphorus and the Threat to our Food Security

This 23 page publication from the Soil Association is a well written and well researched (with 130 references) look at the peak phosphorus threat, and potential ways to deal with it. An excellent read on an under-reported issue.

EXCERPT: There is one critical issue in securing our future food security that is missing from the global policy agenda: we are facing the end of cheap and readily-available phosphate fertiliser on which intensive agriculture is totally dependent. The supply of phosphorus from mined phosphate rock could ‘peak’ as soon as 2033, after which this non-renewable resource will become increasingly scarce and expensive… Our current system of mining, using and disposing of phosphorus is not only going to be impossible when phosphate supplies ‘peak’, but is unsustainable in its current form for a number of other reasons… Different farming systems vary as to the extent of their reliance on mined phosphate inputs for producing artificial fertilisers for using on grazing land and crops, and additives in animal feed… By changing what we eat we can reduce demand for mined phosphate… to close the phosphorus loop we will need to return not only all animal waste to the soil, but other types of waste as well…

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