In this sequence, Fertilizer AC took up the importance of applying nutrients not only to get higher yields in a sustainable manner but also to take care of the quality of the grain.
In a new conference, the Fertilizer Association Civil showed the relationship between the nutrition of crops and the quality of the food we eat, saying that the improvements in the yields of staple crops in Argentina in recent years have not always been consistent. Same proportion with improved grain quality. For example, in some expeditions the protein level required for food production was not achieved.
The inaugural Fertilizer AC was in-charge of the Executive Manager, ING AGR. María Fernanda González Sanjuan, and Dr. Martin Diaz-Zorita, professor at the National University of La Pampa and coordinator of the unit’s technical committee, and Dr. Lectures were delivered by Ismail Kakmak, Professor at Sabansi-Istanbul University, Turkey, member. The Academy of Sciences of that country and the Academy of Europe.
González Sanjuan shared that the aim of the conference was to “delve into the relationship between crop nutrition technology, food quality and human health”.
Martin Diaz-Zorita of the Fertilizer AC Technical Committee said that the current challenge for agriculture is to manage the nutrition of crops and improve the quality of production in the scenario of soil depletion. “The starting point is to recognize that grain production is producing food,” for which agricultural management decisions consider ensuring that “all foods have an adequate composition of nutrients, proteins, fatty acids and essential elements.” Is.”
In this sense, he indicated that, with the management of crops, either through the choice of genotype, planting dates, the conditions in which the crops are grown, as well as fertilization, “we interfere with the structure of the grain”. . Always remember that “the availability of nutrients limits the productive capacity in terms of yield and quality”, warns the expert.
Diaz-Zorita shows the current state of Argentine soils with severe deficiencies of Phosphorous (P) and Zinc (Zn). “About 70% have P limits. In Zn, over 40%”.
While he drew attention to the fact that in recent decades the pursuit of greater grain production did not always correlate with the quality of the nutritional composition of crops, while “the supply of nutrients decreased according to handling in the soil”. In addition, he noted that only 30% of farmers in Argentina do soil analysis, making it difficult to specify an adequate fertilizer strategy.
The Strategies Studies Network coordinated by the Fertilizer AC, which conducted 66 trials at 10 locations over 6 years and with 7 crops, measured whether, “with frequent handling”, compared to controls without fertilization – current applications of nutrients With – 22% higher yield is achieved; On the other hand, another 14% more can be achieved if we opt for a balanced fertilizer strategy based on soil analysis and aim for a higher yield from the local environment. “This means that with control lots without fertilization and high-yield, balanced fertilization schemes, 36% higher production can be achieved,” Díaz-Zorita described.
Regarding area and crop conditions, the expert pointed out that due to technical and management issues, including nitrogen fertilizing, wheat has greatly increased production, which increased yields but “were not accompanied by an increase in quality”. Conversely “with an increase in production, the percentage of proteins decreases”, which means that cereals have greater limits on their use in food. However, “to the extent that there was more nitrogen, the concentration of protein in the grain improved.”
In soybeans it is similar to the case with wheat: when yield increased, quality decreased. Whereas when phosphorus was used “increased protein production and higher yields were achieved without reducing -or ‘diluting’ – protein concentrations”.
In the case of maize, the increase in yields that occurred in recent years with seed improvements was also “associated” with the application of N. However, the concentration of P in cereals decreased, “because it was not adjusted” according to the amount the crop needed.
“What we are working on now is to see how we can improve the efficiency of P incorporation in plants, with other elements such as Zn to make it more efficient so that its concentration in the grain in the crop can be increased. There may be elements to improve,” he summarized…
Finally, Diaz-Zorita listed that agricultural production should have as a goal:
• Produce foods with specific basic structure.
• Maximize crop production efficiency and address nutrient dilution as yield increases.
• Have a balanced and strategic management of fertilization, which contributes to taking care of grain quality (base structure).
• Do not neglect effective inclusion of nutrients through proper administration of fertilizers in food production.
Dr. Ismail Kakmak of the University of Istanbul relates the problem of hunger in the world not only as a chronic condition—food shortage that affects 800 million people—but as an issue associated with the low quality of food. In. The lack of essential nutrients in their composition, known as “hidden hunger”, affects 2,000 million people.
Kakmak specifically described a deficiency in the micronutrients zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se), which act on people’s immune systems.
And although he insisted that its shortage could be replaced with “biofortifiers” by the food industry, he called on both the government and producers to “approach a new way of thinking” to help combat “hidden hunger”. which, being a health problem, also has an economic impact, meaning an average of 5% of the world’s GDP.
The expert listed that the amount of micronutrients in food is low for 3 reasons:
• The level of micronutrients available in the soil is low.
• Loss of micronutrients by agriculture. He cited that in the case of corn, “every year 500 g of Zn is extracted from the soil.”
• and that “the production system focuses on performance regardless of the nutritional value to be produced”.
Kakamak agreed that “increasing yield reduces protein content” and stressed that the lack of success in reducing hidden hunger “because solutions based on fertilization were not involved”, even though in application in the world. increase has been recorded. of nutrients. , but the focus is on “getting more yield from the crop and producing more quantity of food, forgetting the importance of their quality”.
The expert shared three cases of worldwide public policies successfully arranging for increasing micronutrient content in food to address public health problems and expressed that “Argentinas can improve the nutritional management of the population by improving may play an important role in reducing zinc deficiency of wheat”, as it is one of the main producers and exporters of cereals worldwide. In the same sequence, he proposed that “if it is biocomposited through fertilization schemes (grains) it is possible to obtain an ‘iconic’ product and become a world leader.”
The following are prominent among the findings presented by Dr. Kakmak:
• Current crop management and production systems are not capable of providing sufficient micronutrients for optimum human nutrition.
• Plant nutrients provide a highly effective solution to the problem of hidden hunger and should be considered by policy makers and the fertilizer industry.
• The time has come to incorporate fertilizers into regional and national human nutrition policies and programs to address the problem of hidden hunger.
• Considering the huge economic impact of hidden hunger on GDP, incentive-based solutions should be put in place to encourage farmers to adopt agricultural bio-fortification, for example by encouraging the adoption and use of specialized fertilizers. By doing, or giving incentives for added quality (micronutrients). Ingredients) in cereals.
Kakamak ended his presentation with a slide that read: “Focus on the better food, not just the more food (focus on the better food, not just the more food)”.
The day was concluded by the President of Fertilizers AC, Francisco Lambias, who thanked the experts for their presentations, which were “the very examples” of the importance of crop nutrition in the context of a “challenging” year that has been recognized internationally. was given. Fertilizer market situation
Source: Fertilizer Press