Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Nitrogen (N) is an essential element which is needed to maximize agricultural production and sustainability of worldwide agroecosystems. N losses to the environment are impacting water and air quality that has become an environmental concern for the future generations. It has led to the need for developing easy to use risk assessment technology tools that can evaluate how to effectively use best management practices (BMPs) in order to reduce losses of reactive N to the environment. Implementation of these BMPs reduces the loss of reactive N that can be traded in air and water quality markets. The new GIS Nitrogen Trading Tool difference in reactive N losses (NTT-DNLreac) has been defined as the comparison between a baseline and new alternative management scenarios across a series of fields. The new version of the Windows XP Nitrogen Losses and Environmental Assessment Package (NLEAP) simulation model with Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities (NLEAP-GIS) was used to conduct a spatial and temporal analysis of no-till systems from a humid Mid-Atlantic US site, manure management from a Midwestern US site, and irrigated cropland from an arid Western US site. The NTT-DNLreac identified the best scenario which shows the greatest potential to maximize temporal and spatial field-level savings in reactive N for environmental conservation and potential N credits to trade in air and water markets while maintaining agricultural crop production. The NTT-DNLreac also shows a potential to trade the savings in losses of reactive N2O and its CO2 equivalents, both global warming contributors, in the commercial futures market. The new stand alone NLEAP-GIS can be used to quickly identify the best management scenario that integrates both the spatial and temporal effects to maximize field-level savings in reactive N. This approach also assists in identifying hot spots in agricultural fields, and has contributed in the development and planning of precision conservation management practices that reduce reactive N losses.