QUESTION TEXT: After 1950, in response to record growth…
QUESTION TYPE: Paradox
CONCLUSION: Farmers once managed to increase productivity with fertilizer. Now they want to increase productivity again, but fertilizer use is dropping.
ANALYSIS: Sometimes a certain tactic will be effective up to a point but then stop working. The right answer tells us this happened with fertilizer.
- This just tells us there will be lots of mouths to feed. It doesn’t say anything about fertilizer.
- If this is the case then we would expect fertilizer to be used for soybeans as well.
- This doesn’t explain why farmers don’t try again with fertilizer now.
- CORRECT. Fertilizer use has reached its limit. It made impressive gains in the past but now it can’t do much to improve productivity.
- This describes something temporary. The decline in fertilizer use only began in 1985, five years after these events.
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