A new approach to holistic nitrogen management in China

Liu, X. and Cui, Z. and Yuan, L and Zhang, Y and Gu, B and Xu, B and Ying, H and Zhang, W and Li, T and Yan, X and Goulding, Keith and Kanter, D and Howarth, R and Stevens, Carly and Ladha, J. and Li, Q and L, Liu and De Vries, W. and Zhang, F (2022) A new approach to holistic nitrogen management in China. Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering, 9 (3). pp. 490-510.

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Since the 1980s, the widespread use of N fertilizer has not only resulted in a strong increase in agricultural productivity but also caused a number of environmental problems, induced by excess reactive N emissions. A range of approaches to improve N management for increased agricultural production together with reduced environmental impacts has been proposed. The 4R principles (right product, right amount, right time and right place) for N fertilizer application have been essential for improving crop productivity and N use efficiency while reducing N losses. For example, site-specific N management (as part of 4R practice) reduced N fertilizer use by 32% and increased yield by 5% in China. However, it has not been enough to overcome the challenge of producing more food with reduced impact on the environment and health. This paper proposes a new framework of food-chain-nitrogen-management (FCNM). This involves good N management including the recycling of organic manures, optimized crop and animal production and improved human diets, with the aim of maximizing resource use efficiency and minimizing environmental emissions. FCNM could meet future challenges for food demand, resource sustainability and environmental safety, key issues for green agricultural transformation in China and other countries.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
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Deposited On:
03 Oct 2022 09:30
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 01:30