Nourishing Plants and People Welch Presentation 19 Nov 10
Soils For Health: Enhancing Human Nutrition from the Ground Up<br />Ross M. Welch<br />USDA-ARS Robert Holley Center for Agriculture & Health<br />Department of Crop & Soil Sciences<br />Cornell University<br />
Why Does Agriculture Exist?<br />To produce food and fiber and provide livelihoods to farmers and profits to the agricultural and food industries alone?<br />Why do we need “food”? – Nutrients!<br />Agriculture is the primary source of all essential minerals and vitamins required for human life! <br />Farmers are nutrient providers!<br />If food systems, based in agriculture, cannot provide all the essential nutrients in adequate quantities to sustain human life during all seasons, diseases ensue, societies suffer and development efforts stagnate.<br />
Global Food Systems’ Problems<br /><ul><li> Agriculture’s primary focus has been on production alone, with little concern for nutritional or health-promoting qualities of products
Nutritionists tend to emphasize unsustainable medical approaches to solve malnutrition problems
These strategies do not address the underlying causes of malnutrition - dysfunctional food systems based in agricultural systems that do not have a goal of promoting human health
Simplistic views are the norm – looking for “silver bullet” approaches for solutions
Agriculture and human health have never been generally recognized as closely linked disciplines </li></li></ul><li>Soil-Plant Factors Effecting the Micronutrient Quality of Plant Foods<br />Factors effecting available essential element supplies in soils<br />Soil type (pH, organic matter, parent material, etc.)<br />Root-soil interactions & rhizosphere effects<br />Agronomic practices (fertilizers, amendments, organic matter, cropping systems, variety selection, etc.)<br />The available supplies of essential minerals (as influenced by genetic & environmental variables) also affect the accumulation of numerous other nutrients (e.g., vitamins) and other health promoting factors accumulated in edible portions of plant foods<br />
Fertilizer Approaches to "Healthier" Food Crops<br />Fertilizer Practices<br />Macronutrient fertilizers (form and application method)<br />N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg<br />effects protein, fats, vitamins, antinutrients, promoters, etc. <br />Micronutrient & trace element fertilizers (form and application method)<br />Zn, Se, Co, I, Ni, Mo, Li, Cl - effective in increasing amount in plant seeds and grains<br />Fe, Cu, Mn, B, Cr, V, Si - not very effective in increasing seed or grain levels<br />
Increased plant & seed yield</li></li></ul><li>Before I<br />After I<br />Importantly: also ≈ 30% increase in livestock productivity!<br />Data from Cao, et al., 1994<br />Fertilizer Approach to IDD<br />
Effect of Foliar Applied Selenate and Selenite on the Se Level in Field Grown Polished Rice Grain<br />Se applied Grain yieldaSe in graina<br />Se treatment(Se g ha-1) (kg plot-1) (g g-1) <br />Control 0 24.05 ± 2.16a 0.071 ± 0.002a<br />Selenite 20 24.54 ± 5.15a 0.471 ± 0.134b<br />Selenate 20 23.78 ± 0.45a 0.640 ± 0.191c<br />aValues are means of three determinations ± standard deviation. Values followed by a different letter in each column are significantly different (P < 0.05). <br />Consumption of 400 g per day of the high-Se rice would provide 200 g Se.<br />(Data from Chen et al., J. Agric. Food Chem. 50: 5128-5130, 2002)<br />
Effect of Se Fertilization (6 or 16 mg kg-1) in Finland on Serum-Se Levels in 21year-old Finish Students<br />YearSerum-Se (µmole L-1)<br /><ul><li>1985 (baseline) 1.05
Agriculture’s Agenda For Better Health<br />(Congressional Briefing) <br />Item 1:Declare a goal of agriculture to produce high quality food that promotes human health and well-being in sustainable ways.<br />Item 2: Design seeds,cropping & livestock systems that help achieve primary goal—design for maximum nutrient output of farming systems.<br />Item 3:Genetically modify food crops, increasing nutritional and health while promoting crop productivity (biofortification).<br />Item 4:Use agronomic practices (e.g., fertilizers and cropping systems)to improve nutrient output of farming systems. <br />Item 5:Define sustainable agriculture, as agriculture that yields “healthy foods” for healthy and productive people!<br />
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.