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Southern University of Science & Technology

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Fertilizer management could reduce ammonia pollution from 3 staple crops

A team of researchers led by Yi Zheng from China's Southern University of Science and Technology conducted a new study to quantify ammonia emissions from crops. They used machine learning to analyze data on ammonia emissions, environmental characteristics and management practices for agricultural fields worldwide. This allowed them to create a model to predict ammonia emission factors at extremely high resolution based on local climate, soil characteristics, crop type and irrigation, along with land and fertilizer management practices.
The model revealed that optimizing fertilizer management to suit local conditions could achieve a 38% reduction in global ammonia emissions from three staple crops: rice, wheat and corn. The optimal fertilizer management solutions depended heavily on local climate and soil characteristics. For example, using enhanced-efficiency fertilizers and applying fertilizer deep in the soil were effective mitigation measures, but not a one-size-fits-all solution.
The researchers also predicted that under current fertilizer management practices, climate change will increase ammonia emissions from these crops by up to 15.8% by 2100. However, this increase could be entirely offset by optimizing fertilizer management. The study results provide valuable data for agricultural researchers, policymakers and farmers, and it also demonstrates machine learning's potential for revealing new insights into complex interactions between human activities and the environment.

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  • Elizabeth Gathigia

    3 w

    Very important research that will help lower ammonia emissions in agricultural sectors

    • mary Mwihaki

      3 w

      This is good reserch farmers should be readyto optimise their use od fertilisers to promote sustainability.

      • Munene Mugambi

        3 w

        Such research is fundamental in learning ways to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector and how to manage them. With increased funding in fields of farming and large scale production, we can come up with methods to help each farmer manage their pollution levels as we make farming sustainable

        • Joseph Githinji

          3 w

          This is an important research in the roadmap to reduce ammonia emmisions in food production process. Farmers should be ready to optimise their use of fertilizer to promote sustainability.

          • Munene Mugambi

            3 w

            @joseph_githinji Also it is possible to come up with other fertilisers that are not ammonia intensive or that do not have as much emissions as the current crop of fertiliser. This can all be achieved via collaboration with farmers, researchers and organisations that produce these products.

          • Rukia Ahmed Abdi

            3 w

            Great research.Fertilizer use is widespread across the world. If we can act on this research, we can save our mother planet a big deal

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