Securing a sustainable phosphorus future for Australia

Australian Farm Institute
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Farm Policy Journal, 2010, August Quarter, 7 (3), pp. 1 - 18
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Australia has developed its agricultural export industry on the foundation of importing phosphorus: from Nauru. and more recently through substituting domestic production [or at least half of all demand for fertiliser. Decreasing ore grades for phosphate rock increasing concerns about the negative impact of run-off from soils, and the likelihood of future price increases all mean that a rethink is needed of the future of phosphorus in Australia, and globally. The current path for phosphorus lise in the world and in Australia is not sustainable. due to the significant levels of inefficiency, to the certainty of peak phosphorus in the coming decades and the vulnerability to potentially volatile markets. Moving towards a sustainable phosphorus future can be achieved by reducing our dependence on imported and domestic rock, by diversifying phosphorus sources through investing in renewable phosphorus fertilisers, increasing the efficiency of use throughout the system (not just in agriculture) and maximising recovery and reuse of phosphorus.
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