Keywords: crop production, yield, cereal grains, legume seeds, phosphorus pollution, global estimates, continent estimates, lpa mutants, phosphorus fertilizers, grain phosphorus, seed phosphorus, phytic acid, sustainability, food security, sustainable development, nutrient imbalances
A review of the phosphorus content of dry cereal and legume crops of the world
When food scarcity increases, instability in society increases. The majority of food consumed is from cereals and legumes. Phosphorus is essential for crop plant growth and soils are depleted as this element is removed from crop lands with harvested grains/seeds. To sustain yields, inputs of nutrients are required to balance losses. On global and continental/regional bases, we assembled nine years data on: total dry cereal grain and total dry legume seed production, production of barley, maize, rice, soybean and wheat grains/seeds, yields, area farmed, the tonnage of phosphorus and phytic acid removed in these crops and the elemental phosphorus applied as mineral fertilizers to all plant crops. Some significant imbalances were found that may affect food security. Asia consumes significantly more mineral P fertilizer in proportion to crop production than any other region – a potential environmental, economic and social problem. Approaches which could address nutrient (P) imbalances are discussed.