If rolled out worldwide, our method could replace a quarter of all the synthetic nitrogen fertiliser used in agriculture.
Ammonium nitrate in granular form is the basis for many nitrogen fertilisers.
What do ammonium nitrate and iodine have in common? Both substances are of immense service to humankind, and the history of their discovery is closely linked to that of the production of explosives.
Agriculture is the dominant cause for the increasing N₂O concentrations. Emissions must be reduced if we hope to stabilise Earth's climate.
It's painfully clear nature is buckling under the weight of farming's demands. There's another way – but it involves accepting nature's limits.
A Ghanaian vegetable farmer sits on his land.
Vrinda Khushu/Wikimedia Commons
And why development funders should listen to smallholder farmers
Phosphorus was first discovered by boiling down thousands of litres of urine.
We need phosphorus for life, as well as for fertiliser to help plants grow, but raw supplies are limited.
Wildflowers, bees and butterflies – your lawn is a vibrant ecosystem waiting to be unleashed.
Feeding pigs seaweed could make them, us and the planet healthier without contributing to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Every flush by a typical toilet sends about 6 to 16 litres of fresh water to wastewater treatment centres.
Existing toilets aren't a good fit for parts of sub-Saharan Africa because many areas lack water and there's often no proper plumbing.
Crops, soils and fungus are a tricky mix.
An ancient relationship between plants and fungi could be used in sustainable agriculture. But there's still a lot we don't know, and new research suggests these fungi can sometimes do more harm than good.
Ammonia production is one of the most energy-intensive industrial processes on the planet.
Producing ammonia, which is a key ingredient in fertilizers, is one of the world's most energy-intensive chemical manufacturing processes. Now there's a new low energy option in development.
The new funding is focused on measures that are already in the foreground.
The federal government's new $500 million funding package for the Great Barrier Reef seems predominantly focused on the tactics that are already being tried, without much success.
Coffee’s usefulness doesn’t have to end here.
Plenty of cafes these days will let you take home some used coffee grounds, to put on your garden. It's a versatile material with loads of potential uses - as long as you treat it properly first.
Affordable tractors improved food security in Nigeria
Mugisha Don de Dieu/Flickr
There were some African food security initiatives from 2017 that deserve a special mention for the precedent they set.
Water quality is one of the major issues that threatens the Great Barrier Reef’s health.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
The updated plan for improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reef still doesn't address the need to curb intensively farmed crops such as sugar cane, and to enforce existing environmental laws.
The stuff of life.
It is essential to maintain global food supply, but the clock is ticking.
Val Handumon / EPA
The main source of global warming isn't baking or transport, but fertiliser used to grow wheat.
Our food system depends on nitrogen fertilisers.
Nitrogen image from www.shutterstock.com
Somehow we need to grow more food to feed an expanding population while minimising the problems associated with nitrogen fertiliser use.
Gardening in Australia requires, to varying degrees depending where in the country you are, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers.
When working with garden chemicals, always make sure you are wearing gloves. Apply sprays and dusts downwind and wear goggles if necessary. Always follow the directions.
A market that lets sugar cane farmers trade ‘nitrogen permits’ could help keep a cap on fertiliser use.
You've heard of cap-and-trade schemes for greenhouse gases. Perhaps we also need one to limit the amount of fertiliser runoff onto the Great Barrier Reef.