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New Book Focuses on Nitrogen’s Effect on the Environment / February 15, 2002 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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New Book Focuses on Nitrogen’s Effect on the Environment

By David Elstein
February 15, 2002

Nitrogen, while important to farmers for growing crops, can pollute water and cause other environmental problems. Also, atmospheric nitrogen emissions can contribute to global warming. Now two Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have edited a new book that investigates nitrogen and its effects on agriculture and the environment as a whole.

Ronald F. Follett of the Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colo., and Jerry L. Hatfield of the National Soil Tilth Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, are editors of the new book, "Nitrogen in the Environment: Sources, Problems and Management." The 520-page book includes 20 chapters written by 49 nitrogen experts from around the world, nine of whom are ARS researchers.

The book is divided into sections, including "Background and Importance of Nitrogen," "Water Quality," "Atmospheric Effects," "Emerging Prediction and Management Technologies," and "Economic and Policy Issues." A wide range of topics is covered in the book, such as removing nitrogen from drinking water supplies and the roles of watersheds and river basins. Other topics include dealing with nitrogen from a policy standpoint and how nitrogen affects forest ecosystems. The book is written for those who want to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the origins, issues and management of nitrogen in the environment.

Follett has been a research leader for the Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit for 15 years and was previously an ARS national program leader for 10 years. Hatfield has been director of the National Soil Tilth Laboratory since 1989. For six years prior to that, he was research leader at the ARS Plant Stress and Water Conservation Laboratory in Lubbock, Texas. Both Follett and Hatfield have edited other books, most of which are about soil.

"Nitrogen in the Environment" can be purchased from the publisher Elsevier for $177.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's primary scientific research agency.

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Last Modified: 2/15/2002
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