TED Talk: Phosphorus Fertilizer Should Be Replaced with Mycorrhizal Fungi

This TED talk by French-speaking biologist Mohamed Hijri, is titled “A simple solution to the coming phosphorus crisis.”

The talk is a bit difficult to follow, but his message about mycorrhizal fungi’s ability to enhance nutrient uptake by plants is a good one. (This subject is not new to readers here. See this and this and this.)

I disagree with his fearful global food security outlook, and I also disagree with him about the imminent crisis at hand from running out of phosphate fertilizer, as I’ve discussed here before. (Incidentally, the phosphate and potash fertilizer companies have taken a beating lately, with double-digit profit declines of late and greatly falling stock prices on outlook.)

Hijri’s mycorrhizal fungi solution, while it is not the only farming practice method to enhance the availability of phosphorus for growing crops, is an important and excellent solution which will be embraced more and more in the future. He did oversimplify its use, however, as he didn’t mention its ubiquitousness, regional variances, soil types, and other soil microbiota and growing conditions. There are, and have been for a very long time, products on the market which tout mycorrhiza as a soil enhancer, and there is a valued reader here who is doing studies with conventional crops and a new such soil product, who hopes to be able to report results here on this site soon. (Stay tuned.)

The mycorrhiza part of the talk begins at about 8 minutes, if you choose to skip ahead.

One thing that we can all agree on is that farming inputs need to become more sustainable.

One thought on “TED Talk: Phosphorus Fertilizer Should Be Replaced with Mycorrhizal Fungi

  1. Robyn Tuck

    Thank you for the wonderful Ted talk on Micorriza.
    I am a farmer
    I would like to try this on my farm in Australia.
    You mentioned that it is available on a commercial scale and I would like to try and obtain some to apply to my pasture.
    I live in Doriigo Nsw Australia. It is a rainforest climate where mushroom/fungi thrive., so I am interested to know how I might cultivate this micorriza, myself.

    Do hope you can help
    With thanks Robyn

    Reply

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