Prices for phosphorus — the prime ingredient in fertilizer and an essential nutrient for life — spiked as much as 800% in recent years. Experts around the globe have predicted a shortage is looming. Among them are scientists from the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI), who estimate global phosphorus production will peak around 2034, and readily available supplies will be inadequate to meet demand within 30 to 40 years.

Then again, maybe not. A study released in September by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC; Muscle Shoals, Ala.) estimates that at current production rates, there are sufficient phosphate rock reserves to produce fertilizer for the next 300 to 400 years…”