Fertilizer shortages brought on by high prices and tight supplies are continuing to threaten global agricultural production.
Gro Intelligence's Global Fertilizer Impact Monitor, launched earlier this year, is the first tool to help quantify the potential impact on global production of major crops from reduced applications of nitrogen fertilizer under different scenarios in a fully transparent way.
Now Gro has incorporated the latest scenarios from November 2022 from our partners — the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), an association which represents providers of plant nutrition solutions, and CRU Group (CRU), a leading independent authority on fertilizer.
The Monitor, which Gro built with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is free for anyone to use and can be found here.
Overall, the updates from IFA and CRU project that the global fertilizer crisis resulted in even lower rates of nitrogen fertilization applications worldwide in 2022 than was previously estimated.
Latest Updates: What Does the Data Tell Us?
The monitor originally launched in July 2022 with three scenarios from IFA — “optimistic,” “pessimistic,” and “middle ground.” But IFA in November consolidated its estimates into a single scenario, which projects larger cuts in 2022 global nitrogen fertilizer use than even its “pessimistic” scenario from July. CRU Group’s updated estimates also point to larger declines in nitrogen use than the group previously projected.
Gro modeled the impact on crop yield based on the various fertilizer application scenarios to arrive at production estimates for a given country and crop. The production for four major crops — wheat, rice, corn, and soybeans — is then converted into calories and combined to highlight the impact on food supplies from reduced fertilizer usage. Gro’s production estimates are based solely on the usage scenarios for nitrogen fertilizer, the most widely used fertilizer type, and don’t take into account other variables such as weather conditions, which can further impact production and yield. See more on our methodology here.
Overall, the updates on fertilizer usage from both IFA and CRU show increasingly large effects of a crisis still unfolding. Key takeaways include:
The global distribution of the projected outcomes, compared with the IFA and CRU estimates from July 2022, varies by country and crop. For example:
These fertilizer application scenarios from IFA and CRU are based on usage exclusively of nitrogen fertilizer, the most widely used fertilizer type, and do not take into account other variables such as weather conditions, which can further impact production and yield. However, Gro’s in-season Yield Forecast Models account for these variables. Go to the About Outputs page within the Monitor to see the difference.
We welcome feedback and additional data to continue to improve the Fertilizer Impact Monitor and build on the work that we have done. Visit the Global Fertilizer Impact Monitor here.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to learn more about our platform.