Nitrous oxide mitigation in UK agriculture Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) makes the single largest contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from UK and European Union agriculture. Ambitious government targets for GHG mitigation are leading to the implementation of changes in agricultural management in order to reduce these emissions (mitigation measures). We review the evidence for the contribution of those measures with the greatest mitigation potential which provide an estimated 4.3 t CO2e ha-1 y-1 GHG reduction in the UK. The mitigation options considered were: using biological fixation to provide nitrogen (N) inputs (clover, Trifolium), reducing N fertilizer, improving land drainage, avoiding N excess, fully accounting for manure/slurry N, species introduction (including legumes), improved timing of mineral fertilizer N application, nitrification inhibitors, improved timing of slurry and manure application, and adopting systems less reliant on inputs. These measures depend mostly on increasing the efficiency of N fertilizer use and improving soil conditions; however, they provide the added benefit of increasing the economic efficiency of farming systems, and can often be viewed as "win-win" solutions. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rees, R. M., Baddeley, J. A., Bhogal, A., Ball, B. C., Chadwick, D. R., Macleod, M., ... Williams, J. R.

citation count

  • 31

publication date

  • February 2013