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Fluid Journal : Winter 2013
10 The Fluid Journal Winter 2013 Summary: Crops will not grow without sufficient water and nutrients. Limited water resources could, in the future, create a paradigm shift in the fertilizer industry to generate product portfolios of water soluble/liquid fertilizers for fertigation. The bottom line is that the variables of population growth and water availability must spur innovative efforts to conserve water and nutrients to preserve adequate food production for a growing world population. The years ahead will indeed be challenging if the world population increases at its current rate. Challenge Ahead: Water Scarcity The Fluid Journal • Official Journal of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation • Winter 2013 • Vol. 21, No. 1, Issue # 79 By Dr. Bill Easterwood Food production within the American agricultural system has been both challenging and rewarding during our short history. We have come a long way. Did you know that in 1790, just after the establishment of our great nation, farmers made up 90 percent of the population? As infrastructure improved and the U.S . Industrial Revolution progressed, a steady decline in the percentage of citizen farmers occurred. Today, farmers who produce food for our country and a good portion of the world make up only 1.5 percent of our population. How did American farmers evolve from sustainable agriculture to being one of the world’s most important food producers? The answer, of course, is through technology and hard work. Today we are facing new challenges that will require our newest and best technology to meet these objectives. This is truly amazing since at no other time in earlier human history would this have been possible. In the vernacular of Winston Churchill, “Never has so much been produced for so many by so few.” Figure 1. Water Resources on Plant Earth Figure 2. Irrigation Methods and Water Use Efficiency Flood (30-40% efficiency) Furrow (55-70% efficiency) Drip (90-95% efficiency) Sprinkler (70%-85% efficiency) “World population predicted to increase to 9 billion by 2050”
Early Spring 2013