Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 401415
Title Modeling nutrient flows in the Food Chain of China
Author(s) Ma, L.; Ma, W.Q.; Velthof, G.L.; Wang, F.H.; Qin, W.; Zhang, F.S.; Oenema, O.
Source Journal of Environmental Quality 39 (2010)4. - ISSN 0047-2425 - p. 1279 - 1289.
Department(s) Sub-department of Soil Quality
SS - Soil Quality and Nutrients
Soil Science Centre
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) nitrogen losses - integrated assessment - fertilized fields - soil-erosion - emissions - agriculture - consumption - efficiency - trends - maize
Abstract Increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) inputs have greatly contributed to the increasing food production in China during the last decades, but have also increased N and P losses to the environment. The pathways and magnitude of these losses are not well quantified. Here, we report on N and P use efficiencies and losses at a national scale in 2005, using the model NUFER (NUtrient flows in Food chains, Environment and Resources use). Total amount of “new” N imported to the food chain was 48.8 Tg in 2005. Only 4.4.Tg reached households as food. Average N use efficiencies in crop production, animal production, and the whole food chain were 26, 11, and 9%, respectively. Most of the imported N was lost to the environment, that is, 23 Tg N to atmosphere, as ammonia (57%), nitrous oxide (2%), dinitrogen (33%), and nitrogen oxides (8%), and 20 Tg to waters. The total P input into the food chain was 7.8 Tg. The average P use efficiencies in crop production, animal production, and the whole food chain were 36, 5, and 7%, respectively. This is the first comprehensive overview of N and P balances, losses, and use efficiencies of the food chain in China. It shows that the N and P costs of food are high (for N 11 kg kg-1, for P 13 kg kg-1). Key measures for lowering the N and P costs of food production are (i) increasing crop and animal production, (ii) balanced fertilization, and (iii) improved manure management.
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