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Corn production increases two-fold over 30 years with less soil fertilizers

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Using less fertilizer over the past 30 years doubled farms' corn output.
Using less fertilizer over the past 30 years doubled farms' corn output.

Between 1980 and 2010, growers in the United States increased corn output by nearly a factor of two with less fertilizer than previously used, industry organization The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) reported on May 31. This report is a result of data on the rate of fertilizer application from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

In 1980, farmers harvested 6.64 billion bushels of corn using of 3.9 pounds of soil nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - per bushel, while last year they produced 12.45 billion bushels with 1.6 pounds of nutrients employed per bushel, notes the news source. This means that during the 30-year period, productivity increased 87.5 percent.

Half all U.S. fertilizers used go toward the production of corn, and it is estimated that from between 40 and 60 percent of world food output can be linked to application of the nutrients, according to the report.

For farmers - including those who are seeing their harvests increase - John Deere provides agricultural equipment that may allow them to continue to work their land and augment productivity. Machinery like tractor parts, combine harvesters and balers are offered by John Deere dealers.

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