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Nitrogen Use it or lose it Emission story Page 111 De Ferrier BCG, Ash Wallace DPI Vic.

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Presentation on theme: "Nitrogen Use it or lose it Emission story Page 111 De Ferrier BCG, Ash Wallace DPI Vic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nitrogen Use it or lose it Emission story Page 111 De Ferrier BCG, Ash Wallace DPI Vic

2 1. As a rule of thumb how much nitrogen does a wheat crop need to produce 1 t/ha of grain? 1.10 kg N/ha (22 kg urea/ha) 2.20 kg N/ha (43 kg urea/ha) 3.30 kg N/ha (65 kg urea/ha) 4.40 kg N/ha (87 kg urea/ha) 5.Unsure

3 2. When determining how much nitrogen is needed for a wheat crop what do you do? 1.I use a rule of thumb such as 40 kg N/ha per tonne of wheat 2.I apply what my agronomist tells me 3.I use a decision support tool such as Yield Prophet or an excel spreadsheet 4.I use soil or tissue tests 5.I use gut feel 6.I use a range of advice and tools

4 3. How do you rate your understanding of nitrogen losses? 1.Excellent 2.Good 3.Low 4.None at all

5 How much do you know about nitrous oxide emissions and their effect on productivity and greenhouse gases? 1.Nothing 2.A little 3.A bit 4.Quite a lot

6 How much nitrous oxide is lost from a cropping paddock in low rainfall areas annually? 1.0.1-0.5 kg N/ha 2.1-2 kg N/ha 3.10-20 kg N/ha 4.30-40 kg N/ha 5.50-100 kg N/ha

7 The global warming potential (GWP) of a gas measures the amount of heat it can trap in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide has a GWP of 1. 1.10:1 2.50:1 3.298:1 4.310:1 5.450:1 What is the GWP of nitrous oxide compared to carbon dioxide?

8 What are we measuring?

9 The main levers that control emissions: What drives N 2 O losses? Soil water Soil nitrogen Crop management can alter these levers Minimising N loss is good for productivity = win win Soil carbon Soil temperature

10 Why are we measuring it? Limited research into the grains industry’s N 2 O emission contribution in low rainfall environments Govt policy is forever changing and uncertain (agricultural, environmental, political implications) Better communication needed to a wider audience Since the 2002-2009 drought more efficient and prescribed approach to nitrogen use. Nitrogen better match between crop demand and seasonal conditions. Need to inform accounting protocols – particularly legumes

11 GSR: 212mm Soil moisture: 42mm Sowing date: 19 June Variety: Derrimut Potential yield: 2.8t/ha To apply zero, medium and high urea rates and measure N 2 O fluxes from soil in a wheat crop the effect on wheat yield and quality Site: Rupanyup Nitrous oxide (N 2 O) losses from low rainfall environments How did we do it?


13 Page 111

14 What did we expect to find?

15 What did we find? Figure 1. N 2 O flux obtained (4, 6, 7, 14 September) before and after urea application at Rupanyup. Low N 2 O losses Peak levels were 4.5g N/ha/day 6 Sep = 0.3mm, 7 Sep = 8.13mm, 8 Sep =0.5mm, 13 Sep = 0.5mm 1 day prior 1 day after 1 week later 4 th Sep Urea 0 kg/ha 40 80

16 Dimboola grain prices @ December 3. Urea $620/t What did we find?

17 Urease inhibitors Can we do anything about it?

18 Nitrification inhibitors Can we do anything about it?

19 Improve nitrogen use efficiency Timing, N in front of rain Type of product Tools Soil test Rotations Can we do anything about it?

20 Take Home Messages Measured N 2 O fluxes are low in the Wimmera Mallee low compared to accounting methods. Ammonia likely to be more important from a productivity perspective. Products and tools are available to reduce losses. New products being investigated. Use it don’t lose it!!

21 Thankyou to our funders

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