There is room for limited expansion of crop production in some countries, but much of the earth is covered by urban settlements, forests, and environmentally protected areas that are not appropriate for agricultural expansion. Proper stewardship of our current agricultural land is vital to long-term food sustainability.
|Soil degradation causes pollution|
Soil chemical properties often are a key factor in determining crop productivity. There are very few soils in the world that contain all of the essential plant nutrients in the proper concentration. The modern fertilizer industry helps farmers to identify and eliminate any limiting nutritional factors. Addition of plant nutrients prevents the depletion and degradation of agricultural land that occurs when crops are repeatedly harvested without replacing the nutrients back into the soil.
|Soil degradation impairs productivity|
|Soil acidity stunts root growth|
This article originally appeared as a contribution to the IPNI series: Plant Nutrition Today