Proceedings

Agricultural Trends – Use of Organic Resources – How do they Fit?

Evans, T, Tim Evans environment

(free)

Is there a future for using organic resources in agriculture? GM crops and biofuels feature in
the news. Organic farming is increasing. Fuel and fertiliser prices are increasing. Cows are
belching. Land releases nitrate and phosphate to water and nitrous oxide (GWP 298) to air.
Prices are forcing farmers to get bigger or go out of business. Environmental regulations are
also squeezing. We can find pesticide residues in everything. There’s been a succession of
food recalls and business failures because of disease. The world population was 1 billion in
the 19th Century, it is now 6 billion and should top out at 9 billion people in 2050 and many of
these people will expect to eat more and better than their ancestors. Climate change will
lessen the area of farmable land. For the first time in history, more of the world’s population
lives in urban than rural areas. Food with its embodied nutrients and water go from the
farmland to the cities. Is there a place for the organic resources from the farms and urban
areas to go back to the soil and if there is, what is the fit? This paper will describe the
changes in agriculture, its inputs and its markets and how these affect the use of organic
resources.

KEYWORDS
Agronomy, biosolids, branding, fertiliser, market share, quality assurance, stakeholders,
sustainability

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