Who was Justus von Liebig?

Quick quiz:

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.


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