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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Special Section: Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Crop and Livestock Production Systems

More Food, Low Pollution (Mo Fo Lo Po): A Grand Challenge for the 21st Century

 

This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 44 No. 2, p. 305-311
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
     
    Received: Feb 04, 2015
    Accepted: Feb 09, 2015
    Published: March 11, 2015


    * Corresponding author(s): edavidson@umces.edu
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doi:10.2134/jeq2015.02.0078
  1. Eric A. Davidson *a,
  2. Emma C. Suddickb,
  3. Charles W. Ricec and
  4. Linda S. Prokopyd
  1. a Univ. of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Appalachian Laboratory, 301 Braddock Road, Frostburg, MD 21532
    b Florida State Univ., Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science, 403 Oceanography Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306
    c Kansas State Univ., Dep. of Agronomy, 2004 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS 66506-5501
    d Purdue Univ., Dep. of Forestry and Natural Resources, 195 Marsteller St., West Lafayette, IN 47907

Abstract

Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer has been a double-edged sword, greatly improving human nutrition during the 20th century but also posing major human health and environmental challenges for the 21st century. In August 2013, about 160 agronomists, scientists, extension agents, crop advisors, economists, social scientists, farmers, representatives of regulatory agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other agricultural experts gathered to discuss the vexing challenge of how to produce more food to nourish a growing population while minimizing pollution to the environment. This collection of 14 papers authored by conference participants provides a much needed analysis of the many technical, economic, and social impediments to improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crop and animal production systems. These papers demonstrate that the goals of producing more food with low pollution (Mo Fo Lo Po) will not be achieved by technological developments alone but will also require policies that recognize the economic and social factors affecting farmer decision-making. Take-home lessons from this extraordinary interdisciplinary effort include the need (i) to develop partnerships among private and public sectors to demonstrate the most current, economically feasible, best management NUE practices at local and regional scales; (ii) to improve continuing education to private sector retailers and crop advisers; (iii) to tie nutrient management to performance-based indicators on the farm and in the downwind and downstream environment; and (iv) to restore investments in research, education, extension, and human resources that are essential for developing the interdisciplinary knowledge and innovative skills needed to achieve agricultural sustainability goals.

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Copyright © 2015. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.