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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #193263


item Kitchen, Newell
item Shanahan, John

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2007
Publication Date: 8/8/2008
Citation: Kitchen, N.R., Goulding, K.T., Shanahan, J.F. 2008. Proven practices and innovative technologies for on-farm crop nitrogen management. In: Hatfield, J.L., Follett R.F., editors. Nitrogen in the Environment. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science. p. 483-517.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nitrogen (N) from soil, fertilizer, and manure sources is generally inefficiently used (30 to 60%) in most crop production systems. As a consequence, unused inorganic N can move off crop fields and contaminate surface and ground water resources. Local and national governments have responded with guidelines, standards, regulations, and in some cases fines when off-field losses of N have not been reduced. Along with these environmental pressures, soaring energy costs have resulted in commensurate increased costs for N fertilizers. These factors are real for crop producers and are compelling them to scrutinize their crop N management more closely than in previous decades. Numerous time-proven practices, established by research and in crop production settings, are available that will result in improved crop N use efficiency. More emphasis should be given to these practices on farms throughout the world. Additionally, recent advances in sensor technologies are playing an increasing role in shaping the future of crop N management. We highlight some of these technologies available to help producers make better N management decisions. Both soil and crop measurements are considered and compared. Nonetheless, on-farm implies that producers will be at the center of implementing change, and change means N management options will motivate producers to action. Prerequisites for grower adoption require that technologies and practices be reliable, incur minimal additional expense (time and equipment), and integrate with ease into current operations. When these criteria cannot be met, external incentives (e.g., regulation or cost sharing) may be necessary.