Limiting our Planet's Nitrogen Footprint

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Human resource use has resulted in a severe alteration of the natural nitrogen cycle at local, national and global scales. The consequences to human and environmental health are significant, and include smog, coastal eutrophication, acid deposition, climate change, and stratospheric ozone depletion. Food production accounts for approximately 75 percent of the nitrogen losses to the environment. To reduce these losses, an integrated approach to nitrogen management must be employed along the entire food supply chain—from production to consumption. This symposium will present: how social and economic factors affect adoption of nitrogen use efficiency technologies in crop and animal production systems; how nitrogen losses from field to table can be minimized, and how N footprint tools can be used for communication, helping consumers make food choices that reduce nitrogen losses to the environment. The session addresses nitrogen use efficiency on farms, and aggregated to nations, by exploring how a Sustainable Development Goal indicator on nitrogen use efficiency could spur technological and socio-economic innovation in agriculture. It considers how improved supply chain management can minimize losses of nitrogen and shows how the Nitrogen Footprint Tool can help consumers make food choices that reduce nitrogen loss.
James Galloway, University of Virginia
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