Approach in Nitrogen Fertilizer Technology for Enhanced Nitrogen Use Efficiency: Review

Solomon Teshome


Nitrogen (N) fertilizer has made a substantial contribution to the tripling of global food production over the past 50 years. During this period the main goal of applying fertilizer was to provide nutrient to plants to increase or sustain optimal crop yield. However, any fertilizer, whether in the natural, inorganic, or organic form, can harm the environment if misused. Nitrogen, the most widely applied plant nutrient, has until recently often been singled out for its adverse effects on the environment, as well as on human and animal health. The large increase in N fertilizer use resulted in steep decrease in N use efficiency. The low use efficiency of N fertilizer in general shows unsustainable N fertilizer use which resulted negative effect on the environment and economic benefit from farming. To ensure that proper use of nitrogen fertilizer that maintain beneficial to both crop production and the environment, researchers and fertilizer producers have tried to find ways to achieve the newly defined Enhanced fertilizer efficiency. Therefore, the objective of this seminar is to review achievements so far made in the area of Nitrogen fertilizers technology. The fate of applied fertilizer nitrogen in agricultural ecosystems is dependent on the immobilization and mineralization of nitrogen by various biotic and abiotic factors. When N-fertilizer is applied to crops under very distinct agricultural systems, plants rarely recover more than 50% of the fertilizer-N. The remainder is lost from the soil-plant system by mechanisms like volatilization, denitrification, leaching out of the root zone and being carried out by soil or water erosion.  NUE in plants is a function of capacity of soil to supply levels of nutrients and ability of plant to acquire, transport in roots and shoots and remobilize to other parts of the plant. Different methods have been proposed in recent years to reduce loss of N from agriculture field. One of the methods is enhanced efficiency of fertilizer. Enhanced efficiency of fertilizer includes additives, physical barrier and chemical formulation. Therefore considering both the economic and environmental challenge represented by reducing both the cost and application of N fertilizers is critical.

Keywords: Efficiency, Enhanced, Fertilizers, Nitrogen, Nutrient

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/9-8-04

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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