Increasing phosphorus efficiency for croplands

More food needs to be produced in the next 50 years to nourish the global population, than has been produced in the past 400 years. But it needs to be produced on less land, with limited fertiliser resources, and subject to the volatile effects of climate change.

Phosphorus is a finite resource and an essential nutrient for all living organisms, including plant crops. It is a key limiting factor for food production and is applied to crops as a fertiliser. However, phosphorus fertiliser management is often inefficient, with a mismatch in phosphorus oversupply to the soil and subsequent undersupply to the plant. This results in plant phosphorus deficiencies and/or pollution of the environment.

We find approaches to increase phosphorus efficiency in tropical and subtropical cropping systems under a changing climate.

To do this, we investigate the drivers of phosphorus efficiency and identify phosphorus efficient farming practices. We also consider the effects of projected climate change scenarios on soil phosphorus dynamics and on phosphorus fertiliser management practices.

Contact Bianca Das for more information.