The potential for refining nitrogen fertiliser management through accounting for climate impacts: an exploratory study for the Tully region

Biggs, J. S. and Everingham, Y. and Skocaj, D. M. and Schroeder, B. L. and Sexton, J. and Thorburn, P. J. (2021) The potential for refining nitrogen fertiliser management through accounting for climate impacts: an exploratory study for the Tully region. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 170:112664. ISSN 0025-326X


Abstract

Increasing the precision of nitrogen (N) fertiliser management in cropping systems is integral to increasing the environmental and economic sustainability of cropping. In a simulation study, we found that natural variability in year-to-year climate had a major effect on optimum N fertiliser rates for sugarcane in the Tully region of north-eastern Australia, where N discharges pose high risks to Great Barrier Reef ecosystems. There were interactions between climate and other factors affecting crop growth that made optimum N rates field-specific. The regional average optimum N fertiliser rate was substantially lower than current industry guidelines. Likewise, simulated N losses to the environment at optimum N fertiliser rates were substantially lower than the simulated losses at current industry fertiliser guidelines. Dissolved N discharged from rivers is related to fertiliser applications. If the reductions in N applications identified in the study occurred in the Tully region, the reduction in dissolved N discharges from rivers in the region would almost meet current water quality improvement targets. Whilst there were many assumptions made in this exploratory study, and there are many steps between the study and a practically implemented dynamic N fertiliser recommendation system, the potential environmental benefits justify field validation and further development of the concepts identified in the study.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Agricultural Engineering (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Agricultural Engineering (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2021 03:32
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2021 00:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: sugarcane, wet tropics, simulation, Great Barrier Reef, water quality, APSIM
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070199 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300407 Crop and pasture nutrition
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4106 Soil sciences > 410699 Soil sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180205 Measurement and assessment of estuarine water quality
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112664
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42626

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