Make Your Own Fertilizer

Fertilizers Home Made Formulas

In this information you will find recipes and techniques that work to: Protect your house and lawn with special indoor and outdoor Shock Treatments: Ants, Snails, Slugs, Roaches, Fleas, Earwigs, Cockroaches, Silverfish, Beetles, Termites and Webworms. Say good-bye to those annoying yellow spots. Learn the secret to keep your grass greener in water restricted areas and in hot weather. Treat your lawn with a deworming concoction. (learn how and why you must do it once a year) Use effective Natural Insecticides (it's now time to learn what they are and how to use them. in the years to come, only natural insecticides will be permitted by cities!) Avoid serious plant, pet and child health problems caused by toxic commercial products. Protect yourself and your family against the nile virus in 1 minute. Kill ants and destroy the entire colony in 3 days or less. Kill harmful insects while fertilizing your soils.

Fertilizers Home Made Formulas Summary


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Fertilizer and Irrigation

In 1847 Justus von Liebig, a German chemist, discovered that all the nutrients that plants remove from the soil could be replaced in chemical form. This insight had little immediate impact on agriculture, partly because growth in world food production during the nineteenth century came primarily from expanding cultivated area. It was not until the mid-twentieth century, when land limitations emerged, that fertilizer use began to climb.17 The rapid climb came as the frontiers of agricultural settlement disappeared and as the world began to urbanize quickly after World War II. With little new land to plow, growth in the food supply depended largely on raising crop yields. And this required more nutrients than were available in most soils. When the world was largely rural, plant nutrients were recycled as both human and livestock wastes were returned to the land. But with urbanization, this natural nutrient cycle was disrupted. The growth in the world fertilizer industry after World War...

Nitrogen pollution due to overuse of fertilizers

Up to two-thirds of chemical fertilizer leaches into groundwater, lakes, and rivers. The associated nitrogen pollution feeds algal blooms which subsequently die and lead to de-oxygenation of surface waters. of N.40 Nearly 850,000 tonnes of chemically active N in nitrogenous chemical fertilizers were used in Japan in 1996.41 In addition, Japanese farm animals excreted a total of 72 million tonnes of liquid and solid waste in 1998.42 Human waste from the giant Japanese conurbations of Saitama-Tokyo-Yokohama-Kanagawa, Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe, and so on, is simply flushed out into the oceans, evoking the image of the water and soil fertility of the American breadbasket being flushed down the toilets of the capital and out into Tokyo Bay. Since Japan is in huge nitrogen excess, it should not have to use chemical fertilizers at all. Working towards that goal will help prevent nitrogen pollution, provide healthier food, decrease fossil subsidies to farming, drawdown on imported energy, and provide...

Sewage Animal Waste and Fertilizers

Sewage, animal waste, and chemical fertilizers all have a high content of nitrogen and phosphorus. Artificially high levels of these substances in the water promote excessive growth of microscopic or macroscopic plants, in a process called eutrophication. When these plants accumulate, die, and decay, they cause low oxygen content in the water. Even if sewage is treated to remove solids, the liquid discharged contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus. Intensive cultivation of animals in feedlots, or application of more fertilizer than a crop can absorb, also cause runoff rich in nitrogen and phosphorus that find their way into rivers and estuaries. Vehicle exhausts and industrial chimneys are large sources of nitrogen compounds that are transported in the atmosphere and deposited in coastal waters.

Provincial and municipal recycling and production of biofertilizers

The use of micro-organisms for improving soil fertility had fallen since the 1980s, but was rising again towards the end of the decade Rhizobium, for example, increased from 8300t in 1993 to 11,500t in 1998, and total bio-fertilizer production amounted to 2 million tons (Sinclair and Thompson, 2001 FAO, 2003). The production of worm humus and compost had commenced in 1992 and rose to 78,000t humus and 701,000t compost by 1994. After this it declined to a total production of 600,000t in 1998 (Treto et al, 2002). One worm humus production centre that had seen production drop by 50 per cent had been dependent on cattle manure as food for its Californian redworms. Over the decade, cattle were increasingly grazed outside and so manure was more hard to come by, so it was having to be substituted with filter cake from the sugarcane industry.

Agricultural fertilizers nitrous oxide and the ozone layer

One of society's greatest successes has been the propogation of the human species, as a glance at world population growth will show. This has occurred for a number of reasons, but would not have been possible without a growing ability to supply more and more food as population numbers grew. By the late 1940s and 1950s, this ability was being challenged as population began to outstrip food supply. In an attempt to deal with the problem, new agricultural techniques were introduced into Third World countries, where the need was greatest. A central element in the process was the increased use of nitrogen fertilizers along with genetically improved grains, which together produced the necessary increase in agricultural productivity. Since that time, continued population growth has been paralleled by the growth in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers (Dotto and Schiff 1978). The nitrogen in the fertilizer used by the plants eventually works its way through the nitrogen cycle, and is...

Soil Fertility Enhancement by Chemical Fertilizers

The use of supplemental nutrients to increase crop yield started as trial and error in the form of wood ashes, ground bones, salt peter, and gypsum. Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), a German chemist, laid the foundation for the use of chemical fertilizers as a source of plant nutrients starting in 1840. He recognized the importance of various mineral elements derived from the soil in plant nutrition and the necessity of replacing those elements in order to maintain soil fertility. Two British scientists, J.B. Lawes and J.H. Gilbert, in turn established the agricultural experiment station at Rothamsted, in the United Kingdom. They built on the work of Liebig and experimentally demonstrated the importance of chemical fertilizers in improving and maintaining soil fertility. In fact, the application of synthetic fertilizers was the basis of the global increase in agricultural production after World War II. Global fertilizer use was merely 27 million tons in 1959 and 1960 it increased five...

Get smart about fertilizers

Fertilizers promote plant growth, making your lawn lush and green. But what's in that stuff you're feeding your lawn Both natural and artificial fertilizers contain elements that help plants grow like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium but they get those nutrients from different sources p Look for low- or no-phosphate fertilizers. As mentioned on page xx1, phosphorus is a plant nutrient, but there's probably already enough of it in your soil to feed your grass. (Have your soil tested if you're not sure.) The phosphorus in fertilizers can run off into rivers and lakes and make algae go nuts, which can choke off healthy bodies of water. Some areas with at-risk lakes have banned fertilizers with phosphates. Natural fertilizers use organic materials to enrich the soil and provide nutrients for your lawn. (Here, organic means that the fertilizer came from a living thing, whether plant or animal.) Grass needs a lot of nitrogen, so these fertilizers contain protein, which can come from...

Box Feedstock for Indias Fertilizer Industry

The government has in the past heavily subsidised fertilizer use in India, because of its importance in maintaining food self-sufficiency. The recent surge in oil prices, however, has increased the financial burden on the government, prompting it to reduce provision for payments to fertilizer producers in the 2007 08 budget. But fertilizer prices have not been allowed to increase and now the producers are facing large losses. The share of energy in the total cost of ammonia production in India is currently about 6. See Karangle, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (2007) for more details. 470 World Energy Outlook 2007 - Many fertilizer companies are switching to gas as feedstock. This move will save energy as converting gas into fertilizer is considerably less energy-intensive than converting other feedstocks. Gas availability to meet expected demand growth and gas pricing are, however, matters of concern (see Spotlight in Chapter 15). LNG imports and indigenous output from recently...


Nitrate-contaminated water in the surface soil to percolate through the ground to the aquifer and later be extracted for supplying to homes and businesses. The use of nitrate fertilizer is eight times greater now than 15 years ago, and the contaminated surface water of today may not be extracted for the water supply for another 25 years.2 The UK government has taken action to reduce the risk. So-called nitrate sensitive areas (NSAs) have been identified where ground water is extracted for water supply and there is agricultural activity in the area. In the NSAs, farming practices have to be altered to reduce the amount of nitrate used on crops.


Industrial fertilizers and organic materials such as manure add nitrogen to soils. Any nitrogen not fully utilized by the crops grown in these soils undergoes natural chemical and biological transformations that can produce nitrous oxide (N2O), a highly potent greenhouse gas. There is some uncertainty about how to best manage fertilizers, but universities that use large-scale fertilization programs for campus greens, athletic fields, or agriculture may be able to reduce climate change impacts by modifying practices. Techniques that include changing the timing, amounts, and fertilizer type are among the possible solutions. As noted earlier, Tufts has established an organic-turf baseball field.

Genetically Modified Plants

As water and synthetic fertilizers become more expensive, agriculture has no choice but to adapt. Farmers will stop spraying water on their fields and shift to techniques like drip irrigation, which applies water in smaller amounts at the root zone, where it' s most beneficial. They'll use pesticides and fertilizers more carefully. And, despite their perhaps reasonable misgivings, they' ll buy and plant genetically modified (GM) seeds that produce higher yields with less water, fertilizer, and pesticide. Research into new crop varieties is now a huge business, and agricultural biotech the science of genetically altering crops for various advantages is exploding. This is not universally seen as a good thing in fact, it's not clear to many critics that genetically modified plants and animals deserve to be viewed as clean tech. The arguments against take two general forms First, because GM crops are new additions to the gene pool and food chain, their long-term effects on the ecosystem...

An Addition to the Environmental Agenda

Basically, the anthropogenic nitrogen is coming from two sources 75 percent from fertilizers and 25 percent from fossil fuel combustion. Nitrogen fertilizers are often ammonia-based their use is a huge global enterprise. Ninety percent of this fertilizer is wasted, though, ending up in waterways and in the air and soil. High-temperature combustion in power plants oxidizes the nitrogen to produce a variety of nitrogen oxides.

Benefits of Using Compost

You can use compost as mulch, to amend poor soil, or in place of prepared fertilizer. Added to soil, compost improves texture and aeration. It helps sandy soils retain water, and loosens the structure of soils with high concentrations of clay. Compost increases the fertility of soil and encourages healthy root growth. The nutrients that remain in compost after it has cured will add nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to the soil. Helps reduce the risks of plant diseases and pests Reduces methane that would be generated by landfill Prevents erosion and silting on sloped ground Reduces the need for water, fertilizers, and pesticides

The status of imported farm inputs in the s

Agrochemical input prices and quantities rose over the decade but remained lower than in the 1980s. Pesticide imports (which had dropped from 20,000t in 1990 to a low of just under 5,000t in 1993) rose steadily to almost 10,000t by 1998 (CNSV, 2000). Between 1999 and 2001, fertilizer imports rose 30 per cent from 96,000t to 137,000t (although consumption was still only 20 per cent of the 536,000t imported in 1989) (FAO, 2003). The national production of fertilizers was still not back on its feet by the end of the 1990s, with plants in Cienfuegos and Matanzas remaining idle. A consequence of the fuel shortage was a reduction in the area under irrigation, and in 1998 this area was still down by 22,000ha compared to a decade previously (FAO, 2004). Overall, oil and agrochemical imports were increasing slightly over the decade, but quantities were fluctuating and still vastly lower than in the 1980s.

The extent of use of organic techniques and resulting land use patterns

Soils were generally in poor condition. To improve soil fertility, and along with chemical fertilizers, almost all farmers were, on some part of their farm, rotating crops, incorporating crop residues into the soil, and using oxen. A large number were also intercropping, practising minimum tillage and applying manure (at rates of between 0.1 and 22t ha). A minority of farmers were using compost, legume crops and worm humus, some of which was produced on-farm. Terracing was practised to a small extent in hilly regions. Rotations were planned to take advantage of chemical fertilizer residues remaining after harvesting of a prioritized crop. Off-farm manure came from state livestock farms, sugarcane waste (cachaza) from the Agro-Industrial Centres (CAIs), and green manures and biofertilizers from research institutes. In some cases, obtaining free manure had become more difficult, as the specialized livestock farms had themselves diversified into crop production for which they used their...

The postcrisis impact Economic and agricultural decline

State subsidy levels to agriculture fell by at least half, with estimates ranging between 6.5 million and 13.5 million per year (Hatchwell and Calder, 1995 Nova, 1995). The national manufacture of fertilizers dropped by 72 per cent between 1989 and 1995 (Mesa-Lago, 1998). Stocks were depleted, and mono-cultural cropping systems without the inputs required to sustain them gave very low yields, whilst no petrol was available to drive the machinery. One of the few impact studies at grassroots level at that time, undertaken in three municipalities of Cuba, estimated the supplies of fertilizer to the campesino sector to have reduced by 40-50 per cent (Deere et al, 1994). The state's capacity to produce seed fell by 50 per cent (R os Labrada, 1999). Manual labour was scarce, partly because of the previous state drive for urbanization, but also because there was little incentive to work in agriculture. The agricultural sector contracted by 10.3 per cent in 1992, 22.7 per cent in 1993 and 4.9...

The reality of agrochemical application

A patchwork effect of practices had emerged across the country. Agrochemical input distribution and access was officially controlled by the state. Farmers required permission in order to purchase agrochemicals from official sources. Each municipality had different priority crops, and certain provinces, such as Havana, were more highly prioritized than others. High-performing farmers, including those with good natural resources or irrigation equipment, and increasingly the campesino farmers, received preferential treatment. In contrast, only 18 per cent of the total area sown with non-prioritized crops received chemical fertilizer in 1998 (FAO, 2003). This created a patchwork effect of agrochemical application, in both dosage and area covered, at farm, municipal and provisional levels, and, accordingly, a patchwork of alternative measures also. variously as between 60 and 300 per cent since the 1980s. For example, chemical fertilizer that previously had cost 3.6 t was currently selling...

Future Considerations

Verted to soybean production, with soy meal used as a protein supplement for livestock and poultry feeds.48 Although some new land will certainly be brought into cultivation, much of it may be inherently low in fertility, requiring inputs of fertilizer and agrochemicals, the production of which results in GHG emissions. Food production will have to increase through intensification, that is, through increases in production per unit land area (Table 12.3). The great productivity increases that the world has seen since the mid-1900s have resulted largely from plant breeding, irrigation, and increased use of synthetic fertiliz-ers.49 Although the capacity of these techniques, as well as biotechnology, to increase future food production is under debate, the important point here is that both irrigation and use of fertilizers result in GHG emissions irrigation is energy intensive, and nitrogen fertilizers require large energy inputs to produce and increase N2O emissions from fields. These...

Summary of Results of the MEPI Study

The Measuring Environmental Performance of Industry (MEPI) study collected environmental and financial data for 270 European companies and 430 production sites in six industrial sectors (electricity, pulp and paper, fertilizers, Analysis confirmed that environmental performance can be adequately reflected by a subset of the variables incorporated in the database. These results have important implications for the statistical analysis carried out. Construction of performance indicators, benchmarking and analysis of explanatory factors was based on those variables that appeared to be both sufficiently available within the dataset and were found to be significantly influential to the environmental performance. The analyses that we were able to perform depended on the sector analysed. Due to lack of data, no further analysis of the computer manufacturing sector was possible. In some of the sectors (pulp and paper, fertilizer) with more heterogeneous processes and products, analysis needed...

Dirty coal is here to stay

Cattle, water buffalo, sheep and other ruminants are animals with a special stomach that allows them to digest tough plant material. Digestion produces methane, which the animals get rid of by releasing it at either end. Nitrous oxide release is mostly linked to the use of artificial nitrate fertilizers to improve yields. Nitrogen fertilizer in particular is extremely fossil fuel-intensive, requiring 1.5 tonnes of oil equivalents to make 1 tonne of fertilizer.

The Simple Integrated and Efficient Utilization of Energy and Resources Is Not Achieved

Through the gasification treatment of crop straw, thermal efficiency in the context of direct burning of such straw can be enhanced from twenty percent to more than sixty percent.16 If all of the approximately 0.4 billion tonnes of animal excrement (dry matter) generated each year in rural and urban areas was processed into marsh gas, the annual output of marsh gas would reach 9 billion m3.17 The thermal efficiency of firewood is only approximately ten percent if traditional stoves are used, but if firewood-saving stoves are used, then thermal efficiency can be enhanced to twenty to thirty percent.18 Utilizing modern technology for the integrated utilization of biomass resources, crop straw can be used not only in paper making, the production of building materials and art wares, and used directly as feed and fertilizers, but can also be used to produce gaseous and liquid clean fuels, pellet feed, bacterial manures, a base stock of edible fungus, and green packaging materials. Animal...

Farmers preferred future production strategies

The majority of farmers (83 per cent) expressed the desire to use more agro-chemical fertilizers, and two-thirds would use more pesticides, as and when they For those farmers who had no intention of using more agrochemicals, some were satisfied with the low levels they already had, whilst others emphasized knowledge as the key to farming without chemicals. One explained 'Most farmers apply too much fertilizer because they don't know their soils and have not had a soil analysis undertaken.' Whilst another said 'To improve yields, what we need is a dairy herd, compost and more traditional knowledge.' Some farmers would prefer to use only organic and felt that this was more appropriate, as two farmers expressed 'the use of alternatives means less costs, less pollution and less external dependency', and 'this will result in resistant plants with low input needs'. Overall, however, an integrated approach was the preferred strategy, for various reasons including the delay of onset of pest...

Agriculture And World Food Supply

Obviously, predictions concerning the future of agricultural productivity depend on which of the various scenarios one uses. The ability of civilizations and agriculture systems to adapt to climate change also depends on such things as population growth, access to information, farming technology, and the ability of the people and the government to afford irrigation and fertilizer, among many other things. It also depends on the crop varieties that are grown in different locations and on the crop varieties that are adapted to these locations. The least-developed countries are most vulnerable to climate change because of their limited capacity to cope with change, particularly extreme events such as floods and drought. Also, most developing countries (apart from the oil-producing countries in the Middle East) have agriculture-based economies. Results of model predictions of all scenarios show a poleward shift in temperature with a significant reduction of arctic ecosystems and increases...

Ministry of Sugar MINAZ

The existence of a Ministry of Sugar highlights the importance of sugar in the Cuban economy. It was responsible for an area of over 1.5 million ha of productive land, dealing with both state and non-state producers. It operated Agro-Industrial Centres (CAI, Centro Agro-Industrial), which fulfilled similar functions to MINAG's Acopio and the Agricultural Enterprises, and it also ran sugarcane processing factories. As an important national export product, sugar received state priority for petrol, fertilizers and herbicides (Miedema and Trinks, 1998).

Integrated Pest Management

A minority of farmers, wary of pesticides, have sharply reduced their use, preferring a system of pest control called integrated pest management. Crops are rotated yearly from field to field to disrupt pest infestations. Conservation farming is practiced to build fertility and reduce the need for expensive fertilizers, most of which contain toxic levels of heavy metals. Predatory organisms are released into the fields to control harmful insects. Pesticide use is not entirely abandoned but used only if pests reach a

Formation of Greenhouse Gases

The burning of fossil fuels for energy creates most greenhouse gases. When oil, gas, or coal burns, carbon in the fuel mixes with atmospheric oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Methane is produced from coal mining and certain natural gas pipelines. Animals, especially sheep and cattle, produce methane as food breaks down within their stomachs. Some fertilizers release nitrous oxide. Rice production in paddy fields generates methane under water.

Develop a rain garden

In addition to limiting the amount of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers you use in your yard, gardeners can help reduce the amount of runoff that ends up in local waters by developing a rain garden. A well-designed rain garden incorporates bowl-shaped areas planted with water-tolerant native plants, which capture and absorb stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as your roof, patio, or driveway.8 Rain gardens can also provide water sources for backyard wildlife and will help recharge groundwater, buffering regional water supplies when dry conditions return. To find out how to design a rain garden in your yard, visit http

Golf And The Environment

Siting, development, and operation of golf courses. Through better site analysis and selection, better management and timing of pesticides applications, the use of slow-release fertilizers, employment of buffers to filter turf runoff, and other such practices, the golf industry is making considerable headway in managing the effects of nonpoint source pollution.

European impact on productivity

Because of this, since 1788, continental biomass, or net primary productivity, has probably increased by around 5-7 percent.33 This increase has been restricted mostly to about one-quarter of the country's surface area, mainly in the southeast. Based on this 5-7 percent range and the location of intensive production in Australia, it seems reasonable to suppose that net primary productivity has been concentrated and therefore increased in this more fertile quarter of the continent by about 20 percent, and that productivity in the most fertile 4 percent would have increased by over 100 percent, mostly due to fossil fuel based synthetic fertilizers, irrigation pumps, and fuel-burning engines for machinery and transport.34

Beyond Organic Biological Agriculture Systems in Cotton BASIC

Though not completely organic, the Sustainable Cotton Project's BASIC program (Biological Agriculture Systems in Cotton) offers California growers strategies utilizing bio-intensive and integrated pest management strategies designed to save money and reduce the need for pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and water. In 2002 the BASIC program demonstrated a 73 percent reduction in pesticide use over the Fresno County average. BASIC growers farm more than 20,000 acres of cotton in California's Central Valley.

Slow Food Movement Italy

Local producers promote their products, preserve degraded land, and create employment through presidias, which set production regulations taking into consideration a product's cultural and historical aspects, biodiversity, environmental problems, and the needs of small-scale economies. Agronomic and livestock practices are proposed that are not aggressive to the natural environment. In some cases, the production regulations are explicitly organic and prohibit synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Examples include Saraceno grain from Valtellina, and the Zolfino bean from Pratomagno. Slow Food went international in Paris in 1998 and now the movement is found in forty-five countries and has over 80,000 members.

Improved Efficiency In Agriculture

The result of the project was to reduce, by half, the use of water for irrigation, fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The result of this improvement renders, according to IKEA, cotton of better quality than the cotton produced in ecological plantations, and it meets the high standards of quality, applied by IKEA for the cotton that it uses in its furniture and fabrics. The improvement of agricultural methods is important, and it can render improvements in other areas than those immediately related to energy consumption. A reduction in the use of fertilizers and pesticides has a direct influence on the use of petroleum in agriculture, since oil is the raw material for most of these products.

Smallscale And Urban Agriculture

According to Dale Allen Pfeiffer in Eating Fossil Fuels, agriculture accounts for 17 percent of all the energy that is used in the United States.2 This large amount is used in the forms of diesel, gasoline and electricity, as well as in the forms of fertilizers and pesticides, which are produced using petroleum as raw material. Pfeiffer, Heinberg and other authors call for a reform in agriculture, going back to less intensive methods, and a decreased use of fertilizers and pesticides. The measures that they argue in favor of, which will reduce the petroleum use in agriculture, are the following

Sustainable Biomass Production For Energy

Achieving high plantation yields requires energy inputs, especially for fertilizers and harvesting and hauling the biomass. The energy content of harvested biomass, however, is typically 10-15 times greater than the energy inputs. However, whether such high yields can be achieved year after year is questionable. The question is critical because essential nutrients are removed from a site at harvest if these nutrients are not replenished, soil fertility and yields will decline over time. Fortunately, replenishment is feasible with good management. Twigs and leaves, the parts of the plant in which nutrients tend to concentrate, should be left at the plantation site at harvest, and the mineral nutrients recovered as ash at energy conversion facilities should be returned to the plantation soils. Nitrogen losses can be restored through the application of chemical fertilizers make-up requirements can be kept low by choosing species that are especially efficient in the use of nutrients....

Hydrogen An Energy Carrier

Hydrogen is found almost everywhere on the surface of the Earth as a component of water (Figure 7-1). It has many commercial uses, including ammonia production for use in fertilizers, methanol production, hydrochloric acid production, and use as a rocket fuel. Liquid hydrogen is used in cryogenics and superconductivity. Hydrogen is important to us because it can be used as a fuel.

Transforming Agriculture

For many years, industrial agriculture has provided us with a global grain surplus. The use of fertilizers and industrial methods has increased production faster than the growth of the global population has been able to increase consumption. The old fear held by the economist Robert Malthus, that population growth will be more rapid than the production of food, has for a long time been proven wrong. Since 2000, this situation has changed. During the past few years, the annual grain surplus has turned into a deficit and the stores or grain that have been built up are now gradually in decline.1

What are sustainable productservice systems

The key to sustainable product-service systems is that the eco-efficiency of customer activities is improved. This can be achieved directly by substituting an alternative product-service combination, but also indirectly by influencing customers to become more eco-efficient in their actions. In other words, there are material-related services and non-material services. The first category contains services that are developed in addition to a product product-extension services (like repair and after-sales services), product-result services (where levels of performance are guaranteed by the supplier) and product-utility services (hire or lease contracts, for example). The other category of services is less product-oriented, for example, activity management services (optimization of processes), advice and consultation (energy or water efficiency), information provision (global positioning systems to control tractor spraying of fertilizers, for example), and intermediation (optimizing a...

Groundwater Pollution

Water contained in the pores of soil or in aquifers is called groundwater. About 40 percent of U.S. municipal water comes from groundwater and an additional forty million people, including most of the rural population, draw drinking water from domestic wells. Groundwater, while protected by the filtering action of soil, can be contaminated by leaking municipal landfills, sewage lagoons, and chemicals from industrial activity. Centers for Disease Control data shows that 318 waterborne disease outbreaks associated with groundwater systems occurred between 1971 and 1996. Leaking underground oil tanks and spills at gas stations account for oil and other chemicals such as benzene and methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MBTE) found in ground-water. More than 400,000 leaking underground storage tanks were reported in the United States in 2001. Pesticides and agricultural fertilizers drain into groundwater polluting it with carcinogenic chemicals and nitrates.

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint source pollution occurs when rainfall or snowmelt runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants, and deposits them into rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters or introduces them into groundwater. Some of the primary activities that generate nonpoint source pollution include farming and grazing activities, timber harvesting, new development, construction, and recreational boating. Manure, pesticides, fertilizers, dirt, oil, and gas produced by these activities are examples of nonpoint source pollutants. Even individual households contribute to nonpoint source pollution through improper chemical and pesticide use, landscaping, and other household practices.

Producing natural gas

The most common variety of natural gas is methane, or CH4 (four hydrogen atoms, one carbon atom). Waste materials like compost from farms is converted into methane gas, which produces both fertilizers and fuel suitable for use in a natural gas vehicle. The gas is fed into a pipeline distribution system or into large holding tanks. The gas may be used for both home heating and vehicle propulsion.

Water usage coping strategies

Many farmers were attempting to adapt their irrigation systems. In fact, this was the most common technological adaptation that farmers were making, not least because it was a crucial prerequisite for applying chemical fertilizers as well as some biological controls. One described the change 'At the crisis I had to invent. For my rice, a water expert showed me how to adapt my tank for gravity irrigation. Family in the Canary Islands passed on the technique of creating a cascade and reservoir to irrigate the land below - its an old technique from the beginning of the century and now in the 1990s it's being used more again.' Another strategy was to maintain clean irrigation ditches 'It's important to keep channels free from weeds. I always did this but now I've improved the efficiency - by hand is most effective, but it can also be done by tractor or oxen.'

Factors forcing institutional change Shortages of resources

Agricultural institutions were restricted in the type of work that could continue or be initiated. The shortage of fuel constrained their ability to reach field sites or participate in national meetings, and a shortage of other inputs meant that experiments, trials and extension work that were dependent on intensive approaches could no longer be pursued. The national research centres, based in Havana, limited their field work to within the province. Institutional gene banks lost a lot of planting materials one estimate gave a loss of 36 per cent of pasture, 24 per cent of citrus and other fruit, and 14 per cent of rice planting material. Equally, there were fewer resources such as paper and printing equipment available to publish or exchange research findings in fact, many findings from this period continue to lie in draft form in desk drawers. The inability to print meant that professionals only had recourse to outdated information produced before the crisis. In one agricultural...

The concurrent growth of the biotechnology industry

At the outset of the Special Period, the state made an investment of 100 million into biotechnology research, for both agriculture and medicine. Biotechnology was seen as a major potential generator of foreign revenue. This industry, based at the Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (with 1132 staff), included the development of biological pesticides and fertilizers, but its biggest strength was in genomics. Although there were no nationally produced transgenic crops in commercial production or on the market in 2000, the medium-term plan was to develop such crops for domestic, non-tourist consumption, to be distributed through the ration system and for use in processed products. Food destined for the tourist sector would be kept GM free, and GM development was not applied in the tobacco industry for fear of harming international sales. Figure 8.1 sets out this plan.

Future World Population And Food Production

World grain production per capita has stagnated at around 300 kg cap over the last two decades and shows signs of further decline. For the five decades since the middle of the twentieth century, global population has been supported by scientific advances in agriculture, largely reliant on fossil fuels. Yield rises accompanying agricultural modernization with its use of chemical fertilizers, agricultural chemicals, hybrid and high-yielding seed varieties, mechanization, irrigation, large-scale monocropping, and so on, appear to be slowing. GM crops do not currently show any great promise in this area.12 The impending clash of rising population and limits to the production of basic foodstuffs trends towards a severe tightening of world traded grain supply during the early decades of the twenty-first century. With world grain stocks lower in 2006 07 than for any of the preceding ten years, now is surely not the time for Japan to be banking on the international grain market for its...

Looking to the Future

Proper disposal of household chemicals (don't pour them down the drain) helps as well. When rains wash away oil, gasoline, and other polluting chemicals, they also pick up excess fertilizers on their way to streams and lakes. There they cause algae and weeds to overgrow in the water. There are ways to limit polluting runoff. By growing native plants that are resistant to pests, less agricultural treatment is needed. Similarly, if people test their soil for what is actually needed, chemical use is reduced. Putting fertilizers away and not using them when big rainstorms are predicted also helps.

Pollution from farming

In order to optimize the yield of the crops sown, farmers apply many chemicals to keep pests at bay and artificial fertilizers to increase the growth rate and the size of the crop. All the livestock produce waste products - this is not a problem with the sheep that are outdoors for most of the time, but cows are now confined to stalls from October until March and their waste products have to be disposed of. In the UK, the annual amount of animal waste which is spread on to land to fertilize the soil amounts to 80 million tonnes. The fertilizers, pesticides and animal wastes all pose threats to water quality because they are so polluting in different ways.

The Organization Of A Change Program

Agriculture is very different in different parts of the world. Decisions about agricultural practices are made by a huge number of peasants, farmers and managers of agricultural companies and combines across the globe. During the past 50 years great advances have been made in terms of production quantities per hectare, but this development have largely been based on the increasing use of industrial fertilizers and pesticides that are made from oil and natural gas. Ecological farming, in many areas, is free from these chemicals, but requires instead

Fossil Cities the Contemporary Conundrum

The mounting dependence on the advanced - and by definition fragile - artefact city is a major risk in itself, but the present energy crisis threatens the very foundation of modern urbanity. This risk reaches deeper than mere infrastructure dependencies. Hermann Scheer enumerates the multiple energy crises engulfing the world today global poverty levels are tied to the fossil fuel economy - some 40 of the poorer countries spend more on petroleum imports than their export earnings nuclear crises loom due to misguided hankerings for atomic power on the part of a number of developing countries water depletion crises brought about by pandemic pollution, abuse and global-warming induced precipitation changes - and glacial melting. These are magnified by the enormous thirst of old-fashioned thermal power stations still prevailing today health crises are endemic to most industrialized and technologically emerging societies through fossil-based air, water and soil pollution and agricultural...

Strategic differences between CCS and UBPC cooperatives

Strategic differences between cooperative types were apparent. Because CCS cooperatives could generally access agrochemicals on the black market, so these farmers were less 'organic' than might be supposed. They used traditional organic inputs such as manure, but did not feel the need to use the more recently introduced biological pest controls and bio-fertilizers. One CCS farmer explained 'We CCSs can afford these black market prices, but the CPA and UBPC cooperatives cannot, and this is the reason they turn to alternatives.' UBPCs tended to use more of these organic inputs, as well as more intercropping and minimum tillage practices. They were more influenced by state programmes such as for the promotion of biological controls, but found the high costs of manure to be a constraint. UBPCs were serviced with seed supplies from the state Seed Enterprise, whereas CCS farmers used more traditional varieties and self-saved seed. Again because of differences in income, CCS farmers were...

Political and productive specialization

Politically, Cuba was abolishing market-led capitalism, nationalizing foreign-owned enterprises, and instituting many Soviet-style agrarian and industrial measures. As soon as the First Agrarian Reform Law had been implemented, the USA cancelled its contracts for the purchase of Cuban sugar. The Soviet Union stepped in with a high offer (Murphy, 1999). Relations with the United States deteriorated to a low point with the attempted invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and the missile crisis of 1962. Subsequently, in 1964, the USA imposed a total trade embargo against Cuba exports to Cuba had been forbidden since 1960, but imports of Cuban goods were now also banned. Although the missile crisis experience had shown Russia to be untrustworthy, this embargo pushed Cuba to further align itself politically and economically with the Soviet Union and the Socialist Bloc,4 and the revolutionary government converted into the Cuban Communist Party (Partido Communista de Cuba). As Cuba was unable...

The use of agrochemicals in urban agriculture

In urban agriculture, our National Group, organized by MINAG and headed by INIFAT, makes unwritten recommendations and a list of standards. Whilst there is no fine to pay if these standards are not met, the producer may not receive continued support from the municipality. In the organoponicos, it is recommended not to use chemical fertilizers. Some producers still use them, but the best plots do not. Sanidad Vegetal, with support by CITMA, implements a national standard for urban agriculture which prohibits the use of agrochemical pesticides unless authorized by the local urban farm centre gran a . Checks are maintained by neighbours who may report anyone using such inputs, and the offending producer may have to pay a fine to Sanidad Vegetal.

The enforcement of economic responsibility

Many research institutes were attempting to commercialize products, such as machinery or bio-fertilizers (based on mycorrhiza, Rhizobium and neem compounds), and services, although most did not have the relevant training in business management or marketing. MINAG helped out by purchasing these products in dollars and selling onto farmers in Cuban pesos. Universities introduced fees for research services even though these fees covered only 10 per cent of their real costs. Some Agricultural Enterprises extended their remit for self-provisioning by producing crops for sale, and campesino farmers were charged for inputs - though at 50 per cent of their real costs - and for some research services. MINAG paid for services to state farms.

Substitution with organic production techniques and system innovations

On the one hand, all available petrol, fertilizer and pesticide inputs had to be distributed for maximum benefit. This meant prioritizing the most important crops for the receipt of inputs, such as sugarcane and potato, and also banana, rice, tobacco, citrus and certain horticultural crops (FAO, 2003). Similarly, irrigation was concentrated on a very limited number of farming units (Paneque Brizuelas, 1997). On the other hand, the shortfall of petroleum-based imports had to be substituted by domestically produced alternatives. This meant introducing and developing the use of biological pest and disease controls, organic soil fertility strategies and draught power, and accompanying training. A national programme for biological pest control had already been established in the late 1980s. Within this, two main approaches were used to control insect pests the release of beneficial insects (entomophagens), which acted as parasites on the eggs of pest species and the use of natural bacteria...

Japans capacity for energy selfsufficiency and renewable technologies

Agricultural research using ten-year averages has now shown repeatedly that legume-based systems are as environmentally superior and just as productive as chemical-industrial systems.59 What matters is the fertility of the soil, something not guaranteed by chemical fertilizers. Japan already has an alternative integrated duck and rice cultivation system. The ducks ( aigamo in Japanese) are allowed to stay and swim around in the rice field from shortly after seedling transplanting. They eat any insects and the weeds as they sprout but avoid the rice seedlings as they do not like the rice plant's stiff, high-silica leaves. The ducks' excreta then provide nutrients for the rice growth. This system is sometimes used with the very fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing floating grass, azolla, which the ducks will feed on. Sometimes fish, such as loach are added which the ducks do not eat because they cannot see the fish beneath the azolla. A well-known practitioner husband and wife team of this...

Hydrogen from Biomass

With regard to greenhouse gas emissions, biomass combustion releases CO2 that was previously captured from the atmosphere, so that in this recycling the net CO2 emission is near zero. However, the cultivation of crops requires fertilizers (that need hydrogen in the form of ammonia) and water, as well as energy for the production, harvesting and transportation. All of these factors, together with their environmental impacts on soil, water supply and biodiversity, must be taken into account and the possible consequences of a large-scale intensive energy-related crop farming carefully assessed. Dedicated high-yield energy crops such as switchgrass, which can be grown with minimal energy input, would be preferable, although biomass for energy would still have to compete for huge areas of land with other agricultural products. Algae grown in the vast expanses of the sea could, however, change this picture in the future. In any case, biomass could only be expected to supply a part of the...

Spatial Changes in Crop Production

The large shift in corn acres also places stress on the nation's corn-inputs system. Corn requires fertilizers that derive mainly from natural gas, petroleum distillates for machinery, and large amounts of propane for drying corn. In all, a strong positive shift in corn production in the U.S. increases the demand for a wide array of energy inputs, which in turn drive up the prices charged to other users of those same inputs.

Making use of old stuff

I Table scraps By composting the food you didn't eat, you eliminate the need for fertilizers and expensive soil treatments, and you save a lot of unnecessary landfill. You can buy composters which work very well and make the job clean. Or you can compost in a hole in your backyard, which is the best way to go for sheer quality. Dig a hole, and toss your food scraps into the hole (avoid fats, but most everything else is fine). Get some slack lime and toss in a cup once in awhile. Stir occasionally. Within a couple months, you'll have good, loamy potting soil for your landscaping needs.

How much can greenhouse gases be reduced by improved material management

Several studies have been carried out to determine the potential of material efficiency, (see Worrell et al. 1995a, 1995b Fraanje, 1997 EPA, 1998). Most studies have focused on a single product group or material. Studies on packaging material by Hekkert et al. (2000a, 2000b) have shown that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with packaging material can be reduced by 40-50 per cent by means of material-efficiency measures. Studies by Worrell et al. (1995a, 1995b) have shown that more efficient use of fertilizers and plastic packaging could lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions (up to 40 per cent). Patel (1999 217) has shown that a limited number of measures in the German plastics industry could lead to a 24 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. In his thesis, Gielen (1999) concluded that ' the potential for emission reduction in the materials system seems to be of a similar magnitude as the emission-reduction potential in the energy system'. In short, several studies...

Carbon energy and climate

Climate change from fossil fuel combustion is arguably the most challenging environmental issue we face because CO2 emission is at the heart of how we produce energy, which is pretty much at the heart of our modern standard of living. The agricultural revolution, which supports a human population of 6 billion people and hopefully more, has at its heart the industrial production of fertilizers, a very energy-intensive process. It's not easy to stop CO2 emission, and countries and companies that emit lots of CO2 have a strong interest in continuing to do so (Chapter 9).

Operations and Maintenance Practices

Environmentally beneficial operations and maintenance (O & M) practices are just beginning to come into use, spurred by the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) rating system. Building owners and managers are beginning to examine their use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic substances, to eliminate those that pose significant hazards to people, animals and the environment. Large organizations with sustainability mission statements are beginning to see the benefits of changing practices, in terms of cost savings and reduced exposure of their people to harmful substances.

Leading Contributors to Nonpoint Source Pollution

Agriculture is identified as the leading source of degradation of polluted rivers, streams, and lakes surveyed by states, territories, and tribes in the National Water Quality Inventory. Agricultural activities that result in nonpoint source pollution include concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), grazing, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing, planting, and harvesting. A major nonpoint source pollutant from these activities is an excess of nutrients, which can occur through applications of crop fertilizers and manure from animal production facilities. Excessive nutrients may overstimulate the growth of aquatic weeds and algae, depleting the oxygen available for a healthy aquatic community.

Threats from nonpoint and chronic sources

Agriculture is the number one industry in Pennsylvania accounting for 15 of the degraded streams in the state (Novak and Woodwell, 1999). In some farms livestock, particularly dairy cattle, trample stream banks. This causes sedimentation that is debilitating to benthic organisms. Animal waste also contributes to excess nutrient loading. Cropland within watersheds contributes soil, manure, fertilizers, and pesticides to regional waterways, and in some cases is responsible for contaminating drinking water supplies.

World consumption of transport fuels

011 products in 2004.13 The remainder was used for making road surfaces (asphalt), heating buildings, generating electricity, and as a feedstock for plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and pesticides. Compared with this world average of 58 per cent, transport comprised a higher share of oil use in North America

Silence from soil scientists

The problems of erosion, over-reliance on fertilizers, and soil depletion are well known. Yet soil scientists seem to be absent from the biofuel debate. A poll of 35 soil scientists indicated to me that they fear that expressing their views will cost them their jobs.38 Here is what one commented anonymously

Higher Returns to Corn Producers and Land Owners Plus Higher Land Rents

Corn farmers, however, did not see their net receipts increase by 58 percent over those two years, and in fact the U.S. BEA noted that Iowa farm earnings in 2006 were actually 5.3 percent lower than the year previous (BEA 2007) despite the corn price run-up. First, like all producers and consumers in the U.S., higher energy prices have affected farmers' bottom lines. Modern corn farming is energy intensive requiring large amounts of distillates for tractors, fertilizers derived in the main from natural gas, and propane for drying grain. So the same high oil prices boosting ethanol demand, and consequently, the demand and price received by farmers for

Human Causes of Climate Change

Other greenhouse gas levels are also increasing because of human activities. Concentrations of ozone in the troposphere, where it is a pollutant and greenhouse gas, have more than doubled since 1976. Tropospheric ozone is created by the action of sunlight on nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon pollutants such as the carbon- and hydrogen-based emissions from car exhaust. Nitrous oxides (NO and N2O) are themselves greenhouse gases that come from the burning of fossil fuels, forests, and crop wastes, and also from the manufacture and use of fertilizers.

Other Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

At colleges and universities, these other climate-altering gases are emitted in varying quantities depending on the type of institution, activities, and types of equipment. For example at Tufts, other heat-trapping gas emissions come from our School of Veterinary Medicine in the form of methane from our dairy herd. Institutions with agriculture schools will have methane emissions from herds and from composting operations as well as nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers. Tufts' dental school also

Potential Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change may lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle and can have major impacts on regional water resources. Reduced rainfall and increased evaporation in a warmer world could dramatically reduce runoff in some areas, significantly decreasing the availability of water resources for crop irrigation, hydroelectric power production, and industrial commercial and transport uses. Other regions may see increased rainfall. In light of the increase in artificial fertilizers, pesticides, feedlots excrement, and hazardous waste dumps, the provision of good quality drinking water is anticipated to be difficult.

Pesticides and Food Safety

These adverse effects of pesticides on humans and wildlife have resulted in research into ways of reducing pesticide use. The most important of these is the concept of integrated pest management (IPM), first introduced in 1959. This combines minimal use of the least harmful pesticides, integrated with biological and cultural methods of minimizing pest losses. It is linked with using pesticides only when threshold levels of pest attacks have been identified. There is also a move toward sustainable agriculture which aims to minimize use of pesticides and fertilizers based on a systems approach. SEE also Agriculture Bioaccumulation Carson, Rachel DDT (Dichloro-diphenyl trichloroethane) Endocrine Disruption Integrated Pest Management Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic Chemicals (PBTs) Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) WAter Pollution.

Degradation of the human resource base

Plant-secondary metabolites or phytonutrients require highlighting because of their beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer and other illnesses (Plaskett, 1999). These plant compounds are produced as part of their self-defence or resistance to pests and diseases, and levels are reduced when chemical pesticides and fertilizers are employed (Bennett and Rosa, 2006).7 On a fresh weight basis, organic foods consistently contain at least 10-50 per cent higher concentrations

The collapse of motive power the substitution of human and animal labor for machines and commercial energy

Agriculture in the DPRK has been organized as cooperative and state farms and has concentrated mainly on the production of rice and maize. Since the 1950s, modernization of agriculture has been carried out through the promotion of irrigation, electrification, chemicalization (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and so on) and mechanization. The 1970s and early 1980s saw fruition of these efforts, irrigation reaching 70 percent or more of the cultivated land by 1970 a total of 75,000 tractors as well as transplanters, threshers, trucks and other farm machinery were provided rural electrification covered all rural areas by 1968 and fertilizers and other chemicals became available in large quantities.7

The Development of Hydrogen Energy

In the 1920s, Canada's Electrolyser Corporation Ltd. opened the way to commercial-scale hydrogen production through water electrolysis. This technology allowed hydroelectric power plants to utilize their excess capacity to produce hydrogen and oxygen. The generated gases were used mainly for non-fuel-related applications such as steel cutting and synthesis of fertilizers. At about the same time, German engineers, especially Rudolf Erren, experimented with hydrogen as a fuel for trucks, automobiles, trains, buses and other internal combustion driven devices 89 . In aviation, hydrogen was first exploited in the German Zeppelins which offered regular transatlantic flights, some 20 years before airplanes did (Fig. 9.2). During these trips, large amounts of liquid fuels were consumed, gradually reducing the weight of the airship. To maintain the buoyancy, part of the hydrogen that kept the vessel afloat in the air was used as extra fuel instead of being simply blown-off. The catastrophic...

We Have Barely Started The Transformation

In our society, we have become accustomed to using large volumes of energy every day to get by. The large-scale use of energy for transportation, electricity, heating, industrial processes and petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides has made possible the creation of industrial agriculture. Through this system, a small fraction of the population produces and distributes food and products for the rest of us, so that we can spend time doing other things. This has never before been possible in society. Historically, most people had to be

Partial decentralization and streamlining

Concurrent with this, some centralization continued to occur. For example, MINAG took more control over the grassroots organic movement, ACAO, and by strengthening CCS cooperatives also achieved some control over these campesino farmers. In many respects, the paternalistic approach of the state to farmers continued. This was to some degree positive the farming sector remained subsidised to some degree, and institutions providing services, research and extension were maintained with high and qualified staffing levels. Towards the end of the decade, Cuba had 221 research and development centres and 46 centres of higher education, and employed over 60,000 workers (CITMA, 2000). The downside was that institutional staff such as extensionists still maintained a strong influence over production strategies their views were interpreted as prescriptive and indicative of state policy, especially amongst ex-state farm workers who were unaccustomed to making their own decisions over production...

Footprints on a Finite Planet

In addition, we have altered the chemistry of the atmosphere sufficiently to rip a hole in the protective ozone layer and to acidify the rain and even the oceans. We are now the dominant force in the nitrogen cycle. Fertilizers are flushing so much of the element into soils and water sources that forests die and giant dead zones form in rivers, lakes, and oceans. We have created (but thankfully have so far refrained from using) hydrogen bombs with the ability to wipe out most life on earth. This is a planetary crisis. And many people blame it on human numbers.

Comparing the Six Approaches

Environmental pollution and toxic chemicals directly activate human stress responses. Current practices soil the air and water with wastes, and push agricultural production to the extreme by applying fertilizers and pesticides. As a result, we stress our own physiological systems to the point of malfunction, disease, and psychological damage. In the mad rush to consume, we suffer emotionally and therefore physically. Physiological and health psychology helps us see that taking better care of the Earth translates into taking better care of ourselves and the children of future generations.

Related Regulations at the Level of State Legislation

By Animal Husbandry that integrated utilization issues should be considered during the construction of animal production farms. For example, issues such as the transformation of wastes into manure, marsh gas production, the manufacture of organic fertilizers, and renewable feed production should be considered.37

Incentive Change And Change In Consumer Behavior

It is important that the savings opportunities of different measures are analyzed, but there may also exist invisible psychological links between different types of behavior. Private driving and leisure travel consume larger amounts of energy than business travel. We will need to reduce petroleum consumption and it is better if we start to reduce this consumption ahead of dramatic price increases. Petroleum products are primarily used for transportation, fertilizers and pesticides and for plastics production. Transportation breaks down into transportation of goods and of people. Plastics break down into high-value and low-value products and many times it will require more energy to replace the plastic of high-value plastics parts in an office printer by a similar part made of metal.

Chilling Effect On Warming

To successfully execute tight control over scientific information throughout the federal government is no small feat, yet the Bush White House deems no area too inconsequential for review. Consider, for instance, an incident involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). In September 2003, this little-known governmental agency sought to reprint a popular informational brochure about carbon sequestration in the soil or, in other words, how farmers can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing their use of energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides. According to a current government official familiar with the incident, many scientists considered the agency brochure to be a successful effort to discuss climate change. By 2004, the NRCS had distributed some 325,000 brochures, and it was seeking a modest update, as well as proposing a Spanish edition.40

Managing Water Supply For Freshwater Ecosystem

For their size, freshwater ecosystems contain a disproportionately large number of the world's species. More than 40 of the world's fish species and roughly 12 of the animal species reside in freshwater habitats which themselves cover only about 1 of the earth's surface (World Resources Institute et al., 1998). With respect to wetlands, in recent years, numerous social benefits (or ecosystem services ) of wetlands have been identified. In a table adapted from Kusler (1983), the National Research Council (1992) presents fifteen separate services provided by wetlands (reproduced as Table 3). Among them are flood conveyance and storage, sediment control, and recreation. On a local level, smaller towns ( 10,000 population) can rely on wetlands for tertiary wastewater treatment at half the cost or even less compared to technology-based advanced treatment methods (Ewel, 1997). Additional benefits of wetlands include the return of nitrogen to the atmosphere (denitrification), which...

Increasing Concentrations Of Selected Trace Gases

And is destroyed in the stratosphere. There nitrous oxide reacts with oxygen atoms to form nitric oxide, which can catalyze destruction of ozone. However, unlike the halocarbons, whose origins are unquestionably industrial, nitrous oxide has mostly natural sources. Humans may be increasing nitrous oxide emissions from soils by using ammonia and urea fertilizers. The added nitrogen eventually is returned to the atmosphere, partly as nitrous oxide. Burning coal, which contains organic nitrogen compounds, is another anthropogenic source of nitrous oxide. The rate of increase observed for nitrous oxide is about 0.3 or 1 part per billion by volume (ppbv). Currently, atmospheric levels of nitrous oxide are at about 310 ppbv.

Industrialization and the New Science of Variations

Repeal of the Corn Laws resulted in a short-term decrease in wheat prices in England, but other factors intervened to stave off for about twenty years a permanent decline. Transport technologies were not entirely adequate to bring in large quantities of grain on a regular basis. In addition, outbreak of war in America and the Crimea served to preserve a steady domestic market for English wheat growers. In fact, repeal of the Corn Laws was followed by investment by British landowners and farmers in such practices as field drainage systems, new buildings, and fertilizers. Their grain production remained profitable, and for the period of about 1850 to 1870 England enjoyed a golden age of agriculture.7

Farmer knowledge levels and technical assistance

Notwithstanding the training programmes available, knowledge levels on alternative, organic approaches were still relatively low at the end of the decade. Farmers most commonly received training on bio-pesticide use, and a smaller number on bio-fertilizers. Other topics approached from an alternative

The priorities of European policy

Contamination by chemical fertilizers, 14 Organic agriculture. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was initially concerned almost exclusively with protecting the economic interests of farmers, and with providing them with a guaranteed minimum income for their produce. Because this also tended to encourage factory farming and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the CAP was long the focus of criticism from environmental groups, but little was done other than to respond to the impact of intensive agriculture. For example, a 1985 regulation (797 85) introduced the concept of environmentally sensitive farming into the CAP, and a 1991 directive (91 676) imposed controls on nitrates.

Anthropogenic impact on nitrogen flux

Riverine fluxes of nutrients from the Yangtze River have greatly increased in recent years (e.g. Zhang et al. 2003). The transport of dissolved inorganic nitrogen in the Yangtze to the estuary increased by 0.775 Tg per year between 1980 and 1989 (Duan et al. 2000), and Shen et al. (2003) observed that 2,849 x 103 Gg total nitrogen and 1,746 x 103 Gg dissolved inorganic nitrogen were discharged at the mouth of the Yangtze river in 1998. The reason for the increase in nitrogen concentration in the Yangtze River is not known and the topic has been controversial since the 1980s. Gu et al. (1981, 1982) suggested that the increase was due to the rapid increase in fertilizer nitrogen use along the basin of the Yangtze River. Edmond et al. (1983) deemed, however, that the high value of 0.9 mg L-1 measured in 1980 resulted from the biological fixation of nitrogen by a water fern. They suggested that eutrophication by fertilizer nitrogen was negligible, and Shen (1996) claimed that...

Sources for map and commentary

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Fertilizer Yearbook 1988, Rome, 1989 FAO, Production Statistics Yearbook 1987, Rome 1988 FAO, Trade Statistics Yearbook 1988, Rome 1989 Goldsmith, Edward & Nicholas Hildyard, eds., The Earth Report, London Mitchell Beazley, 1988 Mercier, Michel & Morrell Draper, 'Chemical Safety The International Outlook', World Health, August Sept., 1984 Schneider, Keith, 'Pesticide Regulation Slow and Unsteady,' New York Times, March 19, 1989 Weir, David & Mark Schapiro, Circle of Poison, Berkeley, CA Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1981.

Chemicals and Petrochemicals

The chemicals and petrochemicals sector is India's third-largest industrial energy consumer, accounting for 9 of total industrial consumption in 2005. Electricity accounts for about 46 of energy use, oil for 40 and coal for the remainder. The sector's energy needs are projected to grow by 4 per year in 2005-2015, slowing to 2.8 per year from 2015 to 2030. Use of coal is rapidly phased out over the Outlook period, its share plummeting from 14 in 2005 to 2 in 2030. Electricity gains market share, its demand growing by 4.8 per year. Fertilizer and chlor-alkali producers are the leading energy consumers in this sector. India is the world's second-largest producer, after China, of nitrogenous fertilizer, which is made from ammonia. India produced 12.8 million tonnes of ammonia in 2005, with average energy consumption of 0.91 toe per million tonnes of ammonia, down from 2.3 toe in 1960.6 The most efficient plants in India produce ammonia with less energy intensity than the average for the...

Fate of Added Nitrogen

As outlined above, in 2005 as a direct result of population growth, 27.1 Tg of nitrogen was applied to soils in East Asia to stimulate plant growth, and 23.4 Tg N was excreted from animals in the form of urine and faeces. It is well known that fertilizer nitrogen is not used efficiently and that much of the nitrogen applied can be lost from the plant-soil system by denitrification, ammonia volatilization, leaching, run-off, and by wind and water erosion (Cai 1997 Yan et al. 2003 Zhu 1997 Zhu and Chen 2002). The nitrogen excreted by animals can also be lost in the same way, but the mode and rate of loss varies depending on whether the nitrogen is excreted in urine or faeces (Misselbrook et al. 1998). As expected, because of the large amount of fertilizer nitrogen used and the large excretion of animal nitrogen, most of the nitrogen lost from the agroecosystems in East Asia came from China (Table 12.1). Emissions of nitrous oxide from the region totaled 1,111 Gg N yr-1, with 94.4...

Enhancement Of Agriculture

Today, large amounts of hydrogen are used for the production of ammonia. With adoption of the Fusion-Hydrogen energy system, its hydrogen will be used for ammonia production. Ammonia is essential as a source of nitrogen for use as fertilizer. Much of the world's recent ability to increase food production comes because of the development of the Haber process for the production of ammonia. 198 To make ammonia, hydrogen and nitrogen are reacted at high temperature and pressure in the presence of a catalyst. Currently the hydrogen to make ammonia is produced by the partial combustion of fossil fuels in the presence of water vapor. The nitrogen is extracted from the air. The over-all products of the reaction used to make ammonia are ammonia and carbon dioxide. With the introduction of the Fusion-Hydrogen energy system, the hydrogen will be available for the production of ammonia without the use of the fossil fuel and the attendant production of carbon dioxide.

Feed Supplier for the World

Tries, it has difficulty producing wheat in its tropical and subtropical regions. Brazil's wheat is produced almost entirely in its southernmost states, on the border with Argentina. Given the heavy fertilizer requirements in the cerrado, wheat production costs in the expansion region are nearly double those of Argentina and the United States. It thus seems unlikely that Brazil will emerge as a wheat exporter unless world wheat prices climb far beyond current levels.20 Corn, which totally dominates Brazil's grain harvest at over 40 million tons a year, is used primarily as a feed-grain. Until recently, Brazil imported corn, but it is now self-sufficient and typically exports a few million tons per year. Corn rotates well with soybeans since the latter fix nitrogen, for which corn has a ravenous appetite. Soybeans grown in rotation with corn are less vulnerable to damage from disease and insects, but corn and soybeans are not a perfect marriage in Brazil, simply because corn yields are...

Image Not Available

Pinatubo eruption in 1991 may have been the cause. It has been suggested that the volcanic fallout included iron which acted as a fertilizer for oceanic phytoplankton. Carbon dioxide was then taken up by the increased numbers of phytoplankton (Whyte, 1995). What is clear from Figure 5.2 is that the growth rate of carbon dioxide is highly variable from year to year and over the decadal time-scale.

Building a Greener World

Environmental management makes business sense, as greener and cleaner products and processes meet consumer demands, result in enhanced product marketability, decrease future environmental liabilities, and, ultimately, lower costs. Environmental management fosters a competitive business advantage through efficiency in production, minimum generation of waste, and a more productive and healthy work force. Companies used to be more concerned with end of the pipe solutions to environmental compliance regulations. Now, as Sandra Woods, vice president of Environment, Health & Safety Systems of Coors Brewing Company, quotes Chairman of the Board Bill Coors, All waste is lost profit. Coors sells its spent grain as fertilizer and recycles its aluminum scraps and cans at its subsidiary, Golden Recycling.

Rising Atmospheric Concentrations of C

It is expected that an initial increase in CO2 will actually behave like a fertilizer and enhance the growth of crops such as rice, wheat, and soybeans. The IPCC cautions, however, that even though it may initially increase production, there will be a slowing that occurs as temperature and precipitation changes may counteract the beneficial CO2 effects. According to a report in Discovery News, farmers hoping to use desalinated water as a resource in water-scarce areas to irrigate crops have had to overcome a hurdle. At a desalination plant currently operated in Israel, it was determined that the converted water was lacking in calcium and magnesium, but was overloaded with boron. While not a problem for drinking water, it was for the production of crops but with the addition of fertilizer and some other adjustments, the water could be treated so that it could be safely used for irrigation.

Growing Conditions Soil

Another option is to make your own growing medium. Mix a bushel of peat moss with a bushel of horticultural grade vermiculite, then blend in the following minerals 1 cup of garden fertilizer (6-12-12 or 5-10-10), 10 tablespoons of limestone, and 5 tablespoons of super-phosphate (0-20-0). Spray a mist of water over the mixture to keep the dust down, and stir it well. It will be suitable for transplanting or for use with new seeds. Fertilizer The best time to add fertilizer is when you water. This makes things easier to remember, because plants that need water more often may also benefit from more frequent fertilization. Plants that are inactive will need less of both. Just keep in mind that fertilizer does nothing for the plant above the surface, so pour a solution of fertilizer and water directly into the soil. If you buy a prepared fertilizing solution, follow the manufacturer's directions. To make your own concentrate, start with a gallon of warm tap water and add 2 cups of...

Raising the Earths Productivity

The unprecedented gains in land productivity were the result of the systematic application of science to agriculture. The early gains were based primarily on research by governments in Japan, the United States, and Europe. In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) orchestrated the national effort while Agricultural Experiment Stations located at land-grant universities in each state focused on the specific research needs of local farmers. Then as agriculture advanced, agribusiness firms producing seed, fertilizer, pesticides, and farm equipment invested heavily in the development of technologies that would help expand food production. Today the lion's share of agricultural research is funded by corporations.2 The strategy of systematically applying science to agriculture while simultaneously providing economic incentives to farmers to expand output was phenomenally successful. Between 1950 and 1976, the annual world

Wastewater Treatment Types

Rural unsewered areas, for the most part, use septic systems. In these, a large tank, known as the septic tank, settles out and stores solids, which are partially decomposed by naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria. The solids have to be pumped out and hauled by tank truck to be disposed of separately. They often go to municipal wastewater treatment plants, or are reused as fertilizer in closely regulated land-application programs. Liquid wastes are dispersed through perforated pipes into soil fields around the septic tank. Sludge that settles to the bottom of the clarifier is pumped out and dewa-tered for use as fertilizer, disposed of in a landfill, or incinerated. Sludge that is free of heavy metals and other toxic contaminants is called Biosolids and can be safely and beneficially recycled as fertilizer, for example. In a trickling filter the flow trickles over a bed of stones or synthetic media on which the purifying organisms grow and contact the wastewater, removing...

Energy Related Emissions Pollutant Emissions

India suffers from high levels of airborne pollution, largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels in power stations, factories and vehicles. The main pollutants are sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2 5).17 India has set air-quality standards for various pollutants, but more will have to be done to achieve substantial emissions reductions. Total sulphur dioxide emissions in India reached almost 7 million tonnes in 2005, 3 million tonnes more than the level of 1990. Coal is the largest source, although the sulphur content of Indian coal is relatively low, ranging between 0.2 and 0.7 (Menon-Choudhari ei a ., 2005). Nearly two-thirds of total SO2 emissions now come from the power sector, reflecting its heavy reliance on coal. The other main sources are oil-fired power plants, steel mills, cement plants and fertilizer factories. Emissions from Indian power plants have increased as coal consumption for electricity production has risen. Between...

Integrated input recommendations

By the end of the decade, the Agricultural Enterprises were advocating the integration of chemical and biological inputs. MINAG's technical recommendations for roots and tubers crops, for example, stated, 'An attempt has been made to recommend a fertilization system which is most practical and as adaptable as possible to the real conditions, with an emphasis on minimum quantities of fertilizer to obtain sustainable and acceptable yields,' and further, 'Chemical control should only be used when biological control has not been effective or for a very severe attack which is certain to severely reduce yields. As far as possible, use products selectively which have little or no lethal effect on natural enemies. In the case of applying insecticide, it will be necessary to re-establish Bio-fertilizers

Environmental Advantages

Another example involves replacing fossil fuels with biomass fuels, such as ethanol made from corn. At first glance such a policy seems attractive because it would reduce energy sector CO2 emissions. The CO2 emissions from burning the fossil fuels would be reduced or eliminated, and the CO2 emissions from burning the biomass fuels would, one might presume, be at least partly offset by the sequestration of that same CO2 from the atmosphere by the corn as it grew. But the story is not that simple. Focusing only on energy sector CO2 neglects three important emission categories. First, the CO2 emissions from the ancillary agricultural operations needed to farm the corn, manufacture fertilizer, irrigate the land, and convert the corn into fuel probably would be large.11 Second, growing corn uses large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer, which release nitrous oxide (N2O), a GHG almost 300 times more potent per mass than CO2. Third, if the corn is grown on cleared forest lands, the carbon...

People As Consumers

Nor can consumers know when farmers unwittingly have grown their food with fertilizer laced with toxic waste. The government approved that policy as a means of relieving corporations of the expense of safely disposing of their waste products (see Wilson 2001). The Environmental Protection Agency has even refused to regulate the dioxin in fertilizer made from sewage sludge (Pianin 2003b).