Laurence Anderson will answer all your embarrassing nutrient questions. If he misses one there’s a Q&A!
Synthetic fertilisers are vital to our food security without them we would only be able to feed 47% of the world’s current population. As the global population is predicted to increase to 9 billion people by 2050 we will only become more reliant on synthetic fertilisers. However, the raw materials to produce these fertilisers are energy-intensive to produce, with 1-2% of global power production being used to produce ammonia, and in limited supply, with peak phosphorus predicted to occur in 2030. Sustainable nutrient management is of critical importance to achieve high crop yield and quality and to improve nutrient use eﬃciency in agricultural production systems.
Ensuring that crops are supplied with the ideal mix of macro and micronutrients can be extremely difficult as the nutrient demand of a crop is always in flux. Crops require different nutrients in different amounts at different stages in their life cycle, depending on constantly changing environmental conditions. Controlled environment agriculture helps us overcome some of these barriers to sustainable nutrient management as environmental variation within a crop is removed, and the use of hydroponic growing techniques allow us to strictly control the initial nutrient conditions within a crop.
This seminar will explore various methods of tracking and improving nutrient use eﬃciency within a hydroponic farm, covering, source water analysis, fertiliser selection and formulation, nutrient measurement within a crop and circulating fertiliser, and reusing spent fertiliser via nutrient dosing.
Laurence Anderson is a PhD researcher with Farm Urban and the University of Liverpool.