Next-generation enhanced-efficiency fertilizers for sustained food security

21 July 2022 by smartfertiliser-hub

Lam, S. K., et al. 2022 “Next-generation enhanced-efficiency fertilizers for sustained food security.” Nature Food, 3(8), 575–580. DOI: 10.1038/s43016-022-00542-7

Nitrogen losses in agricultural systems can be reduced through enhanced-efficiency fertilizers (EEFs), which control the physicochemical release from fertilizers and biological nitrogen transformations in soils. The adoption of EEFs by farmers requires evidence of consistent performance across soils, crops and climates, paired with information on the economic advantages. Here we show that the benefits of EEFs due to avoided social costs of nitrogen pollution considerably outweigh their costs—and must be incorporated in fertilizer policies. We outline new approaches to the design of EEFs using enzyme inhibitors with modifiable chemical structures and engineered, biodegradable coatings that respond to plant rhizosphere signalling molecules.

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