I have been aware of the CIA (Yes, Central Intelligence Agency) position paper (somewhere out there, but I still haven’t located it) on the shortage of phopshates, and I was aware that our big supplier of phosphates – Florida, is at the tail end of it’s production abilities. So? It seems that we should have enough potassium coming out of Canada for along time, right? Organic suppliers might be more difficult, but …
So, when someone like the following author – Jeremy Grantham – speaks about fertilizer, you should make sure you understand what he is saying. Mr. Grantham has been famous for his predictions of market bubbles and how to stay realistic in the stock market. He belongs up there with Warren Buffett etc.,
The following is an excerpt from his article published in the scientific journal Nature.
NOTE: If you want to get your yard tested and balanced for phosphorous and potassium, please call us at 512-870-8062. I can tell you that I have never seen the prices for these minerals go down. We have 100% organic supplies available and will perform the soil tests on your yard to determine what is the right level to apply to your soil. Also note, that phosphorous and potassium directly affect your ability to harvest more rain water in your soil, and to get independent or do without city water supplies.
… Then there is the impending shortage of two fertilizers: phosphorus (phosphate) and potassium (potash). These two elements cannot be made, cannot be substituted, are necessary to grow all life forms, and are mined and depleted. It’s a scary set of statements. Former Soviet states and Canada have more than 70% of the potash. Morocco has 85% of all high-grade phosphates. It is the most important quasi-monopoly in economic history.
What happens when these fertilizers run out is a question I can’t get satisfactorily answered and, believe me, I have tried. There seems to be only one conclusion: their use must be drastically reduced in the next 20–40 years or we will begin to starve.