Measuring and mitigating cropland nitrous oxide emissions

Agricultural soils represent one of the most difficult sectors from which to reduce greenhouse emissions (GHG’s). They are major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O), due to the extensive application of nitrogen (N) fertilisers needed to support crop productivity.


Management interventions

We are undertaking plot-scale experiments to evaluate a series of crop management interventions design to reduce N2O emissions, including:
Compost additions
Clover under-sowing 
Timing of N application 
Nitrification/urease inhibited fertilisers
Bio-enhanced digestate



Deployment of SKYLINE under the AgZero+ project

Development of mitigating strategies requires accurate estimates of N2O emissions, which are hugely variable in space and time. Under the AgZero+ National Capability project we have deployed SKYLINE - new robotic technology providing real-time GHG measurements to more accurately assess cropland N2O mitigation strategies. 

The next step

The next step will be to trial the most promising interventions at scale on commercial farms in the AgZero+ network representing a range of soil types and climatic conditions. This will enable full testing their practicality and the impacts on yield, crop agronomy and environmental factors.