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Food and Agriculture

Food and Agriculture

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Published by Allen A. Espinosa

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Published by: Allen A. Espinosa on Jan 17, 2012
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08/03/2015

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Water

Fertilizer

Energy

Pesticides

Agriculture is the biggest global consumer of water, but there are

many ways we can reduce water use (above -downward facing

sprinklers deliver water more efficiently than upward-facing ones).

Fertilizer

Lack of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus

often limits plant growth.

±Adding nutrients via fertilizer usually stimulates growth

and increases crop yields.

1950 -Average of 20 kg/ha fertilizer used.

2000 -Average of 90 kg/ha fertilizer used.

±Manure and nitrogen-fixing bacteria are alternative

methods of replenishing soil nutrients.

Total Energy Use in U.S. Agriculture

Farming in industrialized countries is highly

energy-intensive.

±Altogether, US food system consumes 16% of total
energy use.

Pest Control

Biological pests reduce crop yields and spoil

as much as half the crops harvested annually.

±Estimated up to half current crop yields might be lost in

the absence of pesticides.

Crops grown without synthetic fertilizers or

pesticides tend to have lower yield, but have

lower operating costs and less ecological

damage.

Up to 90% of all

pesticides never

reach target

organisms.

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