Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Nitrogen (N) is among the most important elements required in agricultural systems to produce food and to supply the nutritional need for protein of increasingly larger World population. Growing human populations are the driving force that requires increased production of dietary protein, more N inputs into crop production systems, and livestock and human-excretory N contributions into the environment. These issues will require a strategy that encompasses both policy and science over the next decades in order to develop viable solutions. It will be important that a multidisciplinary approach be used to address the wide array of issues. This book holistically describes the topic of N in the environment, the sources of N and the issues associated with its management. Twenty chapters were prepared by fifty authors who have included an extensive documentation of the transport and fate of N through agricultural systems. In order to develop strategies that improve the efficiency of N-fertilizer use, reduce the transport and flow of N through agricultural systems, improve N-use efficiency, and that benefit farming and livestock operations, the flow of N needs to be budgeted as it is followed through the pathways of the N cycle at farm, watershed, basin, and even larger scales. In the case of issues with a complex scientific underpinning, such as the issues associated with N in the environment, the deliberative process will undoubtedly require a thorough, thoughtful interface among scientists, who tend to speak in terms of 'uncertainties', and policymakers, who seek bottom-line 'certainties' necessary to create good policy and prudent laws.