Reducing NH3 volatilization and N2O emissions from agricultural soils


Increasing use and availability of urea-based nitrogen fertilizers have resulted in increased ammonia volatilization from agricultural soils (Drury et al. 2017; Woodley et al. 2018, 2020). Urease inhibitors or improved application methods have been found to reduce losses by ~50%, however, a combination of methods is required to reduce losses even further. When ammonia volatilization losses are reduced, N2O emissions have increased. A holistic nitrogen application approach is required to mitigate both ammonia and N2O emissions from agricultural soils. This research focuses on methods which reduce gaseous N losses while improving crop nitrogen use efficiency.

Regulatory and economic factors have resulted in urea and UAN fertilizers becoming the dominant N fertilizer sources in Canada. The objectives of the research were to reduce N losses to ammonia volatilization and N2O emissions and thereby enhance N uptake and crop yields. Effective N management strategies should contribute to reduced N fertilizer application to crops.