keywords: Nutrients use efficiency, developments, nitrogen, phosphorus, balance fertilization
Fertility decline through nutrient mining as a result of continuous cultivation and nutrients depletions lower soil productivity and pose threats to environmental health. With a geometric increase in global population, increased agricultural production must be a priority if enough food must be produced to feed the increasing human population. However, the high cost of fertilizers coupled with the low fertility status of most tropical soils suggests an increased emphasis on high efficiency of inputs for sustainable crop production. In order to minimize the threat of environmental pollution and reduce the cost of production, nutrient input to agricultural lands must remain relatively low while increasing productivity to meet projected demand. Thus, productivity and Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) must increase. As a result, efforts have been made by the fertilizer industry and researchers to promote approaches that would improve crop productivity while minimizing nutrient loss to the environment. Nutrient use efficiency is determined by fertilizer management as well as soil and plant-water relationships. Uptake efficiency and utilization efficiency are major approaches to sustainable nutrient use efficiency. Therefore, the application of fertilizer in the best management practices (BMPs) targeting both high yields and nutrient efficiency are good strategies that will benefit farmers and ensure environmental health. Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most limiting nutrient elements in most agricultural production systems and in many cases are the principal sources of environmental pollution. The use of appropriate N and P fertilizers, as well as balanced fertilization, are prerequisites to enhance N and P use efficiency and effectiveness as well as increasing crop biomass, soil carbon (soil organic matter) and soil health in general.
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