Who was Justus von Liebig?
A: One of the greatest composers of the 18th century.
B: A Prussian military genius.
C: A scientist who made huge contributions to the fertilizer industry.
D: A scientist who made huge contributions to modern physics.
If you’ve taken any chemistry classes, you know the answer. If you’re a good guesser, you should be able to figure out the answer. This is an ag blog, after all.
Liebig was a German chemist in the 19th century who’s considered to be the father of “modern fertilizer” and who helped to organize organic chemistry, among other things. Some of Liebig’s contributions — such as the discovery that nitrogen is an essential plant nutrient — have become.an obvious, essential part of modern agriculture.
Liebig was mentioned briefly by a speaker at a recent area ag conference. The speaker was looking at how the availability and cost of nitrogen fertilizer will change in coming years.
Why write about Liebig here? Partly to recognize a scientist who accomplished great things. And partly to give a shout-out to today’s scientists whose research is helping, or eventually will help, modern agriculture. Keep up the good work.