IAN Seminar Series 2015

The goal of the IAN seminar series is to provide concise, thought-provoking ideas relating to Chesapeake Bay science and management. Short presentations (15 minutes maximum length) are immediately followed by a lunchtime discussion of the topics raised by the presenter. The discussion is summarized and is posted along with a pdf version of the seminar slides. The seminars are captured on video and posted under a Creative Commons license so they can be freely shared.

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Thu 22
Global, National, & Local Trends of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Agriculture. - Eric Davidson () - IAN Seminar Series
2015-01-22T12:00:00-05:00 2015-01-22T13:00:00-05:00
Macknis Room, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, 410 Severn Avenue (Suite 109), Annapolis MD
More than half of the people in the world are nourished by crops grown with synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers.  However, more than a billion people are still undernourished, and global population will increase by 2-3 billion by 2050, which means that demand for N fertilizers is likely to grow.  Unfortunately, unintended adverse environmental and human health consequences of reactive N escaping agricultural fields are occurring as groundwater contamination, eutrophication of freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, atmospheric pollutants related to nitrogen oxides and ammonia gas emissions, and accumulation of the potent greenhouse gas and stratospheric ozone depleting substance, nitrous oxide.   An alternative to increasing fertilizer-N use proportionately to the increase in food demand is to improve nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in agriculture.  I will present preliminary results from an analysis of trends in NUE from 1961 to 2011 for 129 countries, demonstrating the importance of both crop mix and policy.  In the USA, NUE is gradually increasing while harvest yield also increases, although considerable room for improvement remains, such as better coordination among conservation and retail communities.  Retailers and crop advisors are usually farmers’ most trusted sources of information, so their engagement is crucial for NUE improvement efforts.  An example of a partial success story in Nebraska illustrates the importance of tailoring regulatory and outreach approaches to local conditions, administered by local units.  A relatively simple benchmarking system for tracking NUE progress is proposed.
Eric Davidson

Global, National, & Local Trends of Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Agriculture. Permanent Link

Science for Citizens
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Time and Venue

Seminars start at 12 noon, scheduled for 45 mins (15 mins plus 30 min question/discussion time).

Science for Citizens seminars are held in the Joe Macknis Conference Room (Fish Shack) at the Chesapeake Bay Program Office, 410 Severn Avenue, Annapolis MD 21403, immediately following the monthly meetings of the Science Technical Analysis and Reporting (STAR) team meetings.

Citizens for Science seminars are conducted at the UMCES Annapolis Office, 1 Park Place, Suite 325, Annapolis, MD 21401.


If you have any queries or would like to contribute to next year's seminar series, please contact:

Jane Thomas ()
Bill Dennison ()