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A scoping study to assess the feasibility of increasing the efficiency of use of nitrogen-based fertilisers - NT2602

Pricing and other factors can make forms of nitrogen fertiliser other than those based on nitrate an attractive proposition. Urea is used widely in many countries and is competitively priced in the UK. However, there is some evidence from the literature that the nitrogen use efficiency of urea is less than that of ammonium nitrate, and also that urea can inhibit germination and reduce yields and quality. In addition, evidence suggests that there may be less nitrate leaching from urea but that this could be offset by larger emissions of ammonia. Increased use of urea could thus severely impact Defra's attempts to reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture. This needs to be investigated. This project will carry out a literature survey and scoping study to begin to (1) identify and assess techniques for using urea in place of ammonium nitrate while minimising ammonia emissions, (2) assess the implications of the increased use of urea on the UK's ability to meet the 297 kt/yr ammonia emission target by 2010. Work will be closely linked to, but not overlap with, NT2601, and the combined results of these scoping studies will be used to prepare a specification for experimental work to fully achieve the objectives stated above.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Evaluation of urea-based nitrogen fertilisers   (1295k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2003

Cost: £185,669
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, ADAS UK Ltd., Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER), Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), University - Scottish Agricultural College, University - Belfast - Queens, Silsoe Research Institute (BBSRC)
Air Pollution              
Environmental Protection              
Fields of Study
Fertilisers and Nitrate Pollution