Toronto, Jan 20, 2021 – Agrium Inc., later known as Nutrien, is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of agricultural nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potash and sulfur-based fertilizers.
The company was founded in 1931, formerly known as Cominco Fertilizer, and was renamed Agrium in 1995. On January 1, 2018, Agrium merged with Canadian company PotashCorp. Together, they are the world’s largest potash fertilizer producer and the second largest nitrogen fertilizer producer. The final company, Nutrien, is headquartered in Saskatoon, Canada.
The company’s main operating regions are North America, South America and Australia. They have 29 production facilities in North America and Trinidad, more than 1,700 distribution contact points in North America, and nearly 1,600 retail locations worldwide.
Nutrien and the developments in breeding, nutrition and animal health
The global livestock industry is full of vitality. In developing countries, it is a response to the rapid increase in demand for livestock products. In developed countries, demand for livestock products has stagnated, and many production systems are improving their efficiency and environmental sustainability. The historical changes in the demand for livestock products are largely driven by population growth, income growth and urbanization.
The production response of different livestock systems is related to the increase in science and technology and the number of animals. In the future, production will be increasingly affected by competition from natural resources (especially land and water), competition between food and feed, and the need to operate in a carbon-constrained economy.
Developments in breeding, nutrition and animal health will continue to contribute to increasing potential yields, further improving efficiency and genetic gain. Livestock production may be increasingly affected by carbon restrictions and environmental and animal welfare regulations.
Socio-economic factors, such as human health issues and changing social and cultural values, may greatly alleviate future demand for animal products. How these factors will play a role in different parts of the world in the coming decades remains uncertain.
Increasing demand for livestock products and windows of opportunity for Nutrien
Rapid population growth may continue to be an important obstacle to improving food security in some countries, even if the entire world population stops growing at some point in this century. Another important factor that determines food demand is urbanization.
In the coming decades, cities will see unprecedented growth, especially in Africa and Asia. Urbanization has had a considerable impact on food consumption patterns in general, especially the demand for livestock products: Urbanization usually stimulates the improvement of infrastructure including the cold chain, which makes the trade of perishable goods more widespread .
The third driver of increased demand for livestock products is income growth. Between 1950 and 2000, the global per capita annual income growth rate was 2.1%. As income increases, expenditures on livestock products will also increase. Economic growth is expected to continue into the future, usually at a rate between 1.0 and 3.1 per cent. The growth of industrialized countries is expected to be slower than that of developing countries.
Nutrien farming system solutions and food security in developing countries
Livestock play an important role in farming systems in developing countries, helping to provide food and income, electricity, fertilizers and soil amendments, household energy, and means to dispose of crop residues that would otherwise be unnecessary. It is a major industry: 12% of the world’s population depends solely on livestock.
In addition, the output of livestock products is growing rapidly. In the past 20 years, grain production in developing countries has increased by 78%, fish production has increased by 113%, meat production has increased by 127%, and egg production has increased by 331%. The fastest-growing meat production is poultry and pigs.
Income from farming and agriculture is vital for the economy, both at the farm and national levels
For farmers, income from farming and raising livestock provides liquid assets; hedges against inflation; when used in mixed farming systems, a means to reduce crop-related risks; additional sources of income for landless households (rabbits, poultry and Pigs); normal sources of income from milk and meat sales; sporadic sources of income from live animals, hides, wool and meat; drafting of electricity, transportation and breeding services for farmers to rent; and through on-farm and off-farm processing To increase employment opportunities.
At the national level, increasing production of livestock products will reduce the need for high-cost imports. As developed countries reduce milk subsidies and establish a more realistic exchange rate, now is the right time to expand the local dairy industry.
Nutrien and sustainable agriculture practices
Mixed farming and agricultural systems that include livestock have many advantages over “crop only” agriculture. Hybrid systems can produce a wider range of products, reduce risks, and are more productive than systems that rely solely on crops or animals.
In addition to providing liquid fertilizers and granular fertilizers, Nutrien also uses special computer software to mix a large number of prescription mixtures to specific requirements. The Nutrien Echelon® precision agriculture system can help farmers plan the fertilizer application amount to less than 5 square meters, so that farmers can get the most benefit from each acre of land.
A major advantage of hybrid systems is that crop residues and other products can be used to feed livestock, otherwise they would constitute a major waste disposal problem. For example, livestock can be fed with straw, damaged fruits and grains, household waste, food and beverage waste in urban areas, canned and juice residues, and fish processing waste.
By providing industry-leading cost-effective and performance-oriented inputs, Nutrien provides the resources that growers need to optimize their yields and returns.