Concerns about ammonia (NH3) losses from nitrogen (N) mineral fertilizers have forced policymakers to set emission reduction commitments across Europe. Although best available techniques (BATs) have been recommended, large uncertainties still exist due to poorly targeted site-specific approaches that might compromise their effectiveness. Here we proposed and tested a conceptual framework designed to identify most effective BATs that reduce NH3 at the site-specific level. The study was conducted in the Veneto region, northeast Italy. After the mapping of NH3 emission potential areas, BATs and business-as-usual N fertilization scenarios were assessed using a modified version of the DNDC agroecosystem model and compared with urea broadcast distribution under different pedo-climatic conditions. The most promising practices were further tested in a field experiment using a wind tunnel combined with a FTIR gas analyzer. Results showed that closed-slot injection reduced NH3 emissions with any type of mineral or organic fertilizers. Injected application, with ammonium nitrate or organic fertilizers, reduced NH3 loss in maize by 75% and 96%, respectively, and in winter wheat by 87% and 98%, compared to surface broadcast. Injection was the most promising technology to support, being already available to farmers. However, some increase in nitrate leaching was observed, mostly in case of winter wheat (+24% for AN injection; +89% for organic fertilizers). By contrast, urea incorporation with hoeing, the most common technique used by farmers in spring crops, did not show satisfactory results, because the partial burial of urea caused strong NH3 emissions that were even higher compared to surface broadcast. Recommended NH3 reduction techniques should be tailored to local pedo-climatic and management conditions, and evaluated, in a holistic approach, considering all N fluxes in the environment.

Identifying N fertilizer management strategies to reduce ammonia volatilization: Towards a site-specific approach

Mencaroni M.;Dal Ferro N.;Furlanetto J.;Longo M.;Sartori L.;Morari F.
2021

Abstract

Concerns about ammonia (NH3) losses from nitrogen (N) mineral fertilizers have forced policymakers to set emission reduction commitments across Europe. Although best available techniques (BATs) have been recommended, large uncertainties still exist due to poorly targeted site-specific approaches that might compromise their effectiveness. Here we proposed and tested a conceptual framework designed to identify most effective BATs that reduce NH3 at the site-specific level. The study was conducted in the Veneto region, northeast Italy. After the mapping of NH3 emission potential areas, BATs and business-as-usual N fertilization scenarios were assessed using a modified version of the DNDC agroecosystem model and compared with urea broadcast distribution under different pedo-climatic conditions. The most promising practices were further tested in a field experiment using a wind tunnel combined with a FTIR gas analyzer. Results showed that closed-slot injection reduced NH3 emissions with any type of mineral or organic fertilizers. Injected application, with ammonium nitrate or organic fertilizers, reduced NH3 loss in maize by 75% and 96%, respectively, and in winter wheat by 87% and 98%, compared to surface broadcast. Injection was the most promising technology to support, being already available to farmers. However, some increase in nitrate leaching was observed, mostly in case of winter wheat (+24% for AN injection; +89% for organic fertilizers). By contrast, urea incorporation with hoeing, the most common technique used by farmers in spring crops, did not show satisfactory results, because the partial burial of urea caused strong NH3 emissions that were even higher compared to surface broadcast. Recommended NH3 reduction techniques should be tailored to local pedo-climatic and management conditions, and evaluated, in a holistic approach, considering all N fluxes in the environment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3356103
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