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Title: Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest

Abstract

Loss of reactive nitrogen (N) from agricultural fields in the U.S. Midwest is a principal cause of the persistent hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We used eight years of high resolution satellite imagery, field boundaries, crop data layers, and yield stability classes to estimate the proportion of N fertilizer removed in harvest (NUE) versus left as surplus N in 8 million corn (Zea mays) fields at subfield resolutions of 30 × 30 m (0.09 ha) across 30 million ha of 10 Midwest states. On average, 26% of subfields in the region could be classified as stable low yield, 28% as unstable (low yield some years, high others), and 46% as stable high yield. NUE varied from 48% in stable low yield areas to 88% in stable high yield areas. We estimate regional average N losses of 1.12 (0.64–1.67) Tg N y -1 from stable and unstable low yield areas, corresponding to USD 485 (267–702) million dollars of fertilizer value, 79 (45–113) TJ of energy, and greenhouse gas emissions of 6.8 (3.4–10.1) MMT CO 2 equivalents. Matching N fertilizer rates to crop yield stability classes could reduce regional reactive N losses substantially with no impact on crop yields, therebymore » enhancing the sustainability of corn-based cropping systems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
  2. Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing (China); Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1546703
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018409
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Basso, Bruno, Shuai, Guanyuan, Zhang, Jinshui, and Robertson, G. Philip. Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-42271-1.
Basso, Bruno, Shuai, Guanyuan, Zhang, Jinshui, & Robertson, G. Philip. Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-42271-1.
Basso, Bruno, Shuai, Guanyuan, Zhang, Jinshui, and Robertson, G. Philip. Mon . "Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-42271-1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1546703.
@article{osti_1546703,
title = {Yield stability analysis reveals sources of large-scale nitrogen loss from the US Midwest},
author = {Basso, Bruno and Shuai, Guanyuan and Zhang, Jinshui and Robertson, G. Philip},
abstractNote = {Loss of reactive nitrogen (N) from agricultural fields in the U.S. Midwest is a principal cause of the persistent hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. We used eight years of high resolution satellite imagery, field boundaries, crop data layers, and yield stability classes to estimate the proportion of N fertilizer removed in harvest (NUE) versus left as surplus N in 8 million corn (Zea mays) fields at subfield resolutions of 30 × 30 m (0.09 ha) across 30 million ha of 10 Midwest states. On average, 26% of subfields in the region could be classified as stable low yield, 28% as unstable (low yield some years, high others), and 46% as stable high yield. NUE varied from 48% in stable low yield areas to 88% in stable high yield areas. We estimate regional average N losses of 1.12 (0.64–1.67) Tg N y-1 from stable and unstable low yield areas, corresponding to USD 485 (267–702) million dollars of fertilizer value, 79 (45–113) TJ of energy, and greenhouse gas emissions of 6.8 (3.4–10.1) MMT CO2 equivalents. Matching N fertilizer rates to crop yield stability classes could reduce regional reactive N losses substantially with no impact on crop yields, thereby enhancing the sustainability of corn-based cropping systems.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-42271-1},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

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