Over the next 35 years, more food needs to be produced than has been to date in human history. The world’s population is set to increase by a third by 2050 and the demand for food production is forecasted to increase by 60%. At the same time, the land available for farming is decreasing and soils have widespread deficiencies in the nutrients that plants need to grow.
The conventional wisdom has been that more fertilizer brings more yield, but this has led to harmful environmental consequences. The over-application of the wrong fertilizers in many regions of the world has resulted in soil erosion and degradation leading to pollution, increased land conversion and habitat loss.
Simply applying more fertilizer is not a sustainable solution to increasing crop yields. What is required is the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices – the use of balanced fertilization to increase yields and improve soil health. Put simply, balanced fertilization is the use of the right ratio of nutrients for each individual soil or crop combination.
Sirius has made a long-term commitment to farmer education and promoting sustainable practices. The foundation of this effort is our ongoing research and development programme.
To date this has involved over 300 trials, on 32 crops, in 17 countries, including 80 new trials in 2017. The programme consistently demonstrates that POLY4 improves crop yield and quality and has positive environmental characteristics.
POLY4 has also been shown to improve soil strength, structure and nutrient legacy, and reduces agriculture’s impact by improving fertilizer use effi ciency – ensuring more fertilizer is taken up by the plant and not lost into the environment.
Food production can be limited when nutrients that crops take out of the soil are not replenished. insufficient access to nutrients is a particular issue with farming practices in the developing world and continues to represent a risk for future global food security.
Nutrient stewardship means ensuring that nutrients are applied to crops at the correct rate, time and place.
Good nutrient stewardship is therefore a key element of our approach and we are working with a range of stakeholders to promote sustainable agricultural methods and policies in key agricultural markets.