About this Research Topic
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural lands are unavailable for crop production and not only represent an economic impact but are also a leading cause of water quality problems in surface waters worldwide. Nutrients in leachate and runoff from agricultural production fields are a leading cause of nutrient enrichment, algal blooms, and eutrophication in streams and lakes that disrupt local ecosystems and lead to low oxygen and fish kills in estuaries and coastal waters. Atmospheric losses of N through ammonia volatilization and nitrous oxide emissions are also major concerns with the former leading to nutrient enrichment downwind and the latter contributing to climate change.
Knowing that not all fertilizer nutrients reach the target plants or that excess losses are a source of major problems has historically not been sufficient to deter over application of N and P, presumably because the potential for yield loss is of greater concern to growers than the potential off-site impacts of those nutrients. Scientists and crop advisors have adjusted recommendations and promoted best practices to reduce these losses but fertilizer nutrients are inexpensive and protect growers against personal losses whereas nutrient losses impose impacts and costs on the local community and/or society. While reports of technological advances and economic impacts are important, a missing component is a meaningful description of how new practices, policies, and technologies that reduce losses fit into existing systems of crop fertilization and production and the human systems and infrastructure in which these activities are embedded.
This collection will include reports that explore new technologies, products, and policies, itemize economic and ecosystem costs and benefits, discuss impacts of nutrient losses , integrate advances in technology with economic and market analyses, and explore social and functional barriers to adoption.
Article types: Brief Research Report, Community Case Study, Curriculum, Data Report, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge, and Book Review.
Keywords: nutrient recovery, sustainable food systems, livestock
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