From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NUE, Nitrogen's GHG potential
Mains level : Nitrogen pollution
A group of Indian scientists have found a way to improve crops by reducing wastage of nitrogen fertilizers applied to them.
Try this PYQ:
Q.Which of the following adds/add nitrogen to the soil?
- Excretion of Urea by animals
- Burning of coal by man
- Death of vegetation
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, and 3
- NUE is calculated as a ratio between nitrogen used and harvest: A higher number denotes low wastage.
- With the efficiency on the decline, farmers use more fertiliser in the hope of raising yield. This in turn worsens NUE.
- Crops generally use up 30 per cent of nitrogen fertilizer applied; the rest seeps into the environment, harming health and adding to climate change.
- Researchers were able to identify phenotypes or visibly identifiable features that determine the efficiency with which cultivated rice varieties (cultivars) use nitrogen.
- This efficiency is known as nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE).
- Cereals consume over 69 per cent of nitrogen fertilizers in India; rice tops the list with 37 per cent, followed by wheat (24 per cent).
Nitrogen Pollution: the reason behind
- Agriculture leads to 70 per cent of nitrous oxide emissions in India.
- Of this, 77 per cent is contributed by fertilizers, mostly urea, according to the Indian Nitrogen Assessment published in 2017.
- This greenhouse gas (GHG) is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- It has replaced methane as the second-largest component of GHG emissions from Indian agriculture in the past 15 years.