Farm [photo] 

Murray Gell-Mann, the 1969 Nobel Laureate for physics, recently gave a striking, to the point, definition of sustainability.

By Dr. J.J. Bornman - General Manager: Strategic Agricultural Services, Omnia Fertilizer

The understanding of plant nutrition has come a long way since the definition of plant nutrients as a "peculiar terrestrial matter" by the pioneers of plant nutritional research, Von Helmont (Flemish) and Woodward (British) during the mid-sixteen hundreds. However, the world is facing a new challenge today in having to feed two billion more people by 2050, while there are more than a billion hungry people today.

By Venessa Moodley: Manager - OmniBio™

Even though nematodes are among the most numerous of all soil-dwelling organisms, they often go unnoticed due to their microscopic size.

The facts and equations remain; by 2050 the world will need to produce 70% more food to feed 9 billion people. In developing countries like Africa, food production will need to double.

With a growing world population that needs to be fed and an increased social and urban demand for land, it is no wonder that there is an urgent call for a second Green Revolution.

Soil health is a fairly new concept that deals with the integration and optimisation of the chemical, physical and biological processes of soil that are important for sustained productivity and environmental quality.

Soil is arguably the most valuable and non-renewable resource, considering that it is the absolute basis of plant life which is therefore central to sustaining human life.

The term nitrogen use efficiency or NUE has been used for some time. Since its origin in the early 80s, a wealth of ratios were applied to calculate NUE (Moll, Kamprath and Jackson, 1982).

Mother Nature has yet again dealt South African agriculture a severe dry hand. In some central areas it is the fourth season of below average rainfall.

The year 2015 has been declared as the "Year of Soils" by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.