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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Development of Sustainable Production Systems and Water Management Technology for the Mid South

Location: Crop Production Systems Research

Title: Evaluation of Nutrient Balances as an Indicator for the Impact of Agriculture on Environment - A comparison of Case Studies from the U.S. and Poland)

item Gaj, Renata
item Sassenrath, Gretchen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2010
Publication Date: 4/28/2010
Citation: Gaj, R., Sassenrath, G.F. 2010. Evaluation of Nutrient Balances as an Indicator for the Impact of Agriculture on Environment - A comparison of Case Studies from the U.S. and Poland [abstract]. Managing Agricultural Landscapes for Environmental Quality: Achieving More Effective Conseration. Soil and Water Conservation Society. Paper Number 6, pp. 36-37.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Efficient nutrient use is critical to ensure economically and environmentally sound food production while minimizing the impacts of nutrients on ground water, the risk of eutrophication in surface waters, and the emission of trace gases. Increasing concerns for future sustainability have led to development of nutrient budgets as indicators and policy instruments for nutrient management. Nutrient balances for N and P are two of the agri-environmental indicators used by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to compare member states and draw conclusions about nutrient loads from agriculture to the environment. Nutrient budgets are used by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop nutrient management plans, and may form the basis for conservation payments to producers. In this study, we examine nutrient budgets for crop-livestock production systems in the US and Poland and determine optimal indicators for quantifying the extent of environmental impacts in order to evaluate options to advise agricultural and environmental policy makers. County and country level data from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA Economic Research Service, and OECD databases are used to develop the preliminary data set. Other countries may be included for comparison. Calculations will be made at a regional scale from 1998 to 2008. The large-scale data set will be compared to the field-level archived data set compiled in Mandan, ND, evaluating soil quality and nutrient information following different crop rotations and livestock systems. Environmental indicators developed by the OECD and NRCS will be used to identify and quantify the impacts of agricultural management on the environment and track the effects of policy measures.

Last Modified: 04/27/2017
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