Surface Nitrogen Budgets for Cropland and Pastureland on a Global Grid

To limit harmful effects of nitrogen (N) inbalance on the environment as well as on people, it is important to identify areas of N surplus as well as deficiency.

Several indicators such as N balance and N use efficiency (NUE) have been developed to evaluate the application of N fertilizers in agriculture, however differing definitions and heterogeneous reference areas cause problems to compare studies and draw conclusions. We transparently develop soil surface nitrogen budgets on an 0.5-degree grid globally, based on publicly available sources, to indicate areas of N inbalance while pointing out linked challenges incentivizing further research.