Annual Hawaii Farm Bureau Conference

Arumugaswami and Yoginathaswami attended the annual conference of Hawaii Farm Bureau today. It rotates through the islands and is held on Kauai every five years.

It was a good opportunity for networking with our many acquaintances in the agricultural community

Mayor of Kauai was there along with the mayors from the islands (counties) of Maui, Hawaii (the Big Island) and Oahu.

One guest speaker was the chief economist for national farm bureau who spoke challenges facing sustainable agriculture.

Apparently the biggest problem for agriculture is the availability of nitrogen for fertilizer. Today’s primary source of nitrogen in the form of ammonium Nitrate (also used as an explosive) is from oil. Modern agriculture uses hundreds millions of tons of petro chemically based fertilizer. As fossil fuels are depleted, we face fertilizer shortages.

What was not said at the conference: 41% of the fertilizer used in the US in 1999 was for corn and most of that corn was used to feed livestock.

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