Accessing Alaska’s Untapped Critical Minerals
October 04, 2011
Hundreds of political leaders, mining officials and executives, g...
With spring upon us, U.S. crop production is in full swing; and growing the crops that keep Americans healthy requires a long list of vitamins and minerals. While plants produce their own vitamins, they depend on the soil in which they are grown for their entire mineral intake. As a result, farmers rely on minerals like boron, gypsum, phosphate and zinc to ensure the foods we consume are as nutritious as possible.
For example, phosphate – which has no substitute– is a critical ingredient in fertilizer. On average, 95 percent of U.S. phosphate is used in fertilizers and animal feed supplements each year, making this mineral crucial to our food supply. Additionally, gypsum is used to improve soil fertility and quality, water infiltration and overall plant growth. Finally, boron and zinc, which are essential to healthy, growth-nurturing soil, play an important role in improving both crop health and yield. Boron and zinc deficiency in soil is widespread, affecting nearly all major crops, making boron and zinc applications necessary to maximize crop production and quality.
From the food we eat to the technology we use, minerals play an important role in supporting our lives every day. As minerals continue to contribute to our annual crop yield and food supply, it is more important than ever that we support a mining policy for the future.