Submitted to: International Nitrogen Conference
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Nitrogen (N) is ubiquitous in the environment and among one of 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. Nitrogen accounts for 78% of the atmosphere and does not present an environmental problem, however, nitrogen in the soil and water can causes environmental problems. In order to develop strategies that improve the efficiency of nitrogen-fertilizer use, reduce the flow and transport of nitrogen through agricultural systems, improve nitrogen use efficiency, and that benefit farming and livestock operations, the flow of nitrogen needs to be budgeted through the various pathways of the nitrogen cycle at farm, watershed, and regional scales. This overview provides a detailed analysis of the transport and fate of N through agricultural systems. Remediation of water and protection of water supplies from high levels of nitrate-N is becoming an increasingly important issue. This study provides an overview of the current state of knowledge and potential future research directions in all parts of the nitrogen cycle.