AutoblogGreen readers often like to point out how fertilizer is an under-considered part of the biofuel equation (check out some examples here and here to see what I mean). So I'm pretty sure this bit of news, from the UK's Integer Research group, will feed our ongoing discussions. Well, at least it will in a few months.

Integer found that biofuels will have a noticeable impact on the worldwide fertilizer industry in the years to come. A full report from Integer is coming this summer, and right now all they are saying a quote from Integer Director Tim Cheyne, who said that, "To meet rising demand, farmers will need to replace their traditional crops, look for new arable land and boost yield. Some regions will even have to import significant volumes of fuel crops. All these developments will clearly affect the fertilizer industry. We are not yet certain by how much exactly, and this is one of the questions we will address in our study."

Those crop and biofuel increases are a bit better understood. Integer is saying that producers in the EU, to meet current biofuel directives, will need to increase biofuel output fivefold. In the U.S. corn for ethanol has grown from 10 million tons a year in 2000 to about 50 million tons in 2006, and the trend is continuing. You can bet that the fertilizer industry is getting ready for this increase. But is the soil?

[Source: Integer Research Ltd]


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