Mitigation of ammonia volatilization on farm using an N stabilizer – A demonstration in Quzhou, North China Plain

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wang, J., Kang, J., Sha, Z., Qu, Z., Niu, X., Zhang, H., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X. 2022. Mitigation of ammonia volatilization on farm using an N stabilizer – A demonstration in Quzhou, North China Plain. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 336 (15 Sept), p. 108011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2022.108011

AuthorsWang, J., Kang, J., Sha, Z., Qu, Z., Niu, X., Zhang, H., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X.
Abstract

Fertilized cropland is a significant source of ammonia (NH3) emissions. Urea, the dominant synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizer, makes the largest contribution to NH3 volatilization from cropland in China. To improve environmental quality and resource utilization efficiency, stabilized urea (UI: Urea amended with the urease inhibitor Limus®) was tested in an intensive cropping system in the North China Plain (NCP). A two-year field trial and an
extensive demonstration experiment at five sites were carried out in Quzhou county, NCP, to quantify the effect of RNUI (Reduced N rate + Urea Inhibitor) technology on NH3 mitigation from farms. NH3 emission, crop yield and N use efficiency (NUE) were measured to evaluate the efficacy of UI and a questionnaire-based survey used to investigate farmers’ attitudes to the technology. In the field trial, UI significantly reduced NH3 emissions by 60.5–62.9% and 39.7–52.3% during wheat and maize growing seasons, respectively, compared to untreated urea applied at the same rate. NUE was significantly increased by 34.6–62.7% in the wheat season and 14.9–66.6% during the maize season. No significant crop yield improvement was observed, but UI significantly reduced yield-scaled NH3 emissions. Similar results were found at the five demonstration sites in Quzhou, but there was a small yield increase for maize. On average there were 49.0% and 38.5% reductions in NH3 emissions, and 50.5% and 46.3% reductions in yield-scaled NH3 emissions for wheat and maize, respectively, compared to typical farmer practice. Farmers’ willingness to adopt RNUI technology depended mainly on crop yield, the convenience of using RNUI and government subsidy to reduce costs. Results emphasized the importance of on-farm demonstration experiments, integrated field management, government subsidies and legislation for the promotion of RNUI technology, achieving sustainable high yields and NUE for mitigating agricultural NH3 loss at a county level in the NCP.

KeywordsNH3 emission; Wheat-maize rotation; Yield; NUE; Urease inhibitor
Year of Publication2022
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Journal citation336 (15 Sept), p. 108011
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2022.108011
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2022.108011
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderUK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Agricultural Nitrogen
Funder project or codeUK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 May 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted04 May 2022
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0167-8809

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