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Zhejiang University’s research results published in “Nature”, specializing in the treatment of nitrogen “malabsorption”-Chinanews.com

Agricultural nitrogen credit system.Photo provided by the interviewee

China News Service, Hangzhou, January 5th (Tong Xiaoyu Wu Yalan) Nitrogen is an essential nutrient element for plant growth and development, and the current nitrogen use efficiency is less than 50%. How to control nitrogen pollution on the premise of ensuring food production has always been one of the important tasks of global farmland management.

On January 5, the reporter learned from Zhejiang University that the school’s scientific research team proposed to establish a nitrogen credit system to solve the mismatch problem that farmers pay the cost of nitrogen emission reduction while the whole society enjoys the benefits of emission reduction, so as to help farmers effectively implement the nitrogen credit system. element reduction measures. It is reported that the research results were published in the top international journal “Nature” on the 5th Beijing time.

Nitrogen fertilizer is one of the main sources of nutrition for farmland, but just like the poor function of the stomach and intestines, the digestion and absorption of nitrogen fertilizer in farmland also has the problem of “not being able to make up for it”. These nitrogen losses to the environment lead to serious nitrogen pollution, which has aroused the attention of scholars around the world.

To this end, the tenured professors Gu Baojing and Dr. Zhang Xiuming of the team of Professor Xu Jianming from the School of Environment and Resources of Zhejiang University cooperated with universities and institutes at home and abroad such as the University of Melbourne, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, and Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. .

They first screened the global pool of available mitigation measures and quantified their potential to reduce nitrogen pollution when implemented on global croplands in 2015.

Through a comprehensive analysis of 1,521 field observation data in the past 20 years, the team determined a set of “prescriptions” for nitrogen emission reduction, mainly including 11 nitrogen elements such as synergistic fertilizers, 4R nutrient management, irrigation optimization, and bean crop rotation. management measures.

After simulation calculations, the research team found that, based on 2015, if these measures are implemented in global farmland, an additional 17 million tons of crop nitrogen can be harvested each year, while reducing nitrogen fertilizer use by 22 million tons and reducing nitrogen pollution by 26 million tons. These changes could bring total societal benefits as high as $476 billion ± 123 billion.

Of course, the implementation of these emission reduction measures requires additional investment in equipment, labor, materials, and services. It is estimated that the total implementation cost is about 34 billion ± 9 billion US dollars.

Through cost-benefit analysis, the research team revealed the potential social benefits of taking these measures, but how to support the implementation of these measures through policies to achieve win-win is an open research question.

The research team’s countermeasure is to socialize the cost of emission reduction and provide farmers with a way to obtain financial support, that is, the agricultural nitrogen credit system. All parties in society who benefit from nitrogen optimization management can raise financial budgets for incentives and subsidies. Those farmers who practice best management practices to reduce pollution and increase yields, thereby reducing nitrogen pollution.

The review experts believe that this study combines global field experiments with multi-model simulations to achieve cross-scale integrated analysis, while emphasizing socio-economic incentive mechanisms, which has typical interdisciplinary characteristics and value, and will contribute to the sustainable development of global agriculture. is of great significance.

It is reported that the project is funded by innovative research groups and international cooperation projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Fund of the United Nations Environment Program (International Nitrogen Management System, INMS). (use up)

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