Businessweek reports on the progress on the development of nitrogen efficient corn. Nitrogen has been one of the most expensive expenses of farmers. Remember the NPK fertilizer. The N is the nitrogen and it s a key ingredient for corn production. The more crops use it, the more farmers have to spend on fertilizers. So, developing a very efficient way of using nitrogen by corn could increase farm profitability. Besides, it does not just end there; when you use less nitrogen, less leaks into the ground and lesser farm pollution occurs. That is what this work being done by Dupont and other farm giants could be a game changer, if it works.
The corn had been genetically engineered by Albertsen and his colleagues in hopes of achieving a new trait: more efficient use of nitrogen. That’s at the top of the corn growers’ wish list because the cost of ammonium nitrate fertilizer has soared 130 percent to $450 a ton since 2002. Albertsen and other seed scientists have been trying to build nitrogen-efficient stalks for at least five years, but their super corn is still five to 10 years away.
Over the years, the Nigerian government has been rationing fertilizer distribution with farmers getting lesser and lesser. If there is an opportunity like this that works out, we can be on par to improve corn yield. A 30% improvement will surely go a long way to help farmers. Yet, Nigerian government must also fund our research institutions since anyone that makes this discovery is sure to enjoy a huge economy prosperity. They have to put more resources and let our scientists make contributions in this area.