Friday, March 15, 2013

More info needed on nitrogen

A University of California-Davis study asserts that more information is needed about how farmers apply nitrogen fertilizers before the state imposes potentially harmful regulations.

From the UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources:
Assessment research documents that while there are many pathways through which nitrogen can enter the environment, inorganic fertilizer use is responsible for the largest fraction of new nitrogen introduced into California annually. Currently, over 600,000 tons of nitrogen fertilizer are sold in the state each year.

Information on fertilizer sales, however, is not an accurate indicator of fertilizer application, and authors found that fertilizer use data is not easy to come by — either because it is not tracked at relevant scales or because data sources are inconsistent.

"We found ourselves with very limited information to understand an issue with sweeping implications for California agriculture,” says Todd Rosenstock, the article's lead author. "We dug deep to create an accurate picture of fertilizer use in the state, but the remaining gaps will require attention.”
To read more, click here. The study is here.

I have calls into the study's authors. For my story, check next week.

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