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Penn State Prof Working on Second Green Revolution

Jonathan Lynch, a professor of plant nutrition at Penn State, is trying to solve the world’s growing food shortage problem. To do this, he is not focusing on growing plants up. Instead, he is trying to grow them down.

Lynch and his colleagues are trying to develop roots that will resist drought and can find nutrients in poor soil by reaching farther down into the ground. Because these roots are able to gather more nutrients, there is less need for irrigation and costly nitrogen fertilizers.  Run off containing these fertilizers may also pollute the water supply, which is another reason to reduce their use.

In an article by The Christian Science Monitor, Lynch said that the second Green Revolution will allow us to grow plants efficiently using less water and artificial fertilizers. This effort is being undertaken primarily in underdeveloped parts of the world such as Africa, Asia and Latin America, where Lynch and his colleagues are conducting their projects.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one sixth of humanity is undernourished, and the rate of people going hungry is rising. With population growth, a lack of new farmland and global climate change,  projects such as the second Green Revolution are becoming increasingly important. Thanks to Lynch’s efforts and those of people like him who are working on solving the problem, there may be hope for the future of agriculture after all.

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About the Author

Michael Berton

I grew up in a Philly suburb, then moved to a different one. I am now at Penn State, where I can actually sate my giant appetite for sports. Other than writing, I also play the cello in the Penn State Philharmonic.


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