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Reducing Nitrogen losses in the High Rainfall Zone of Victoria

Strategies to reduce Nitrogen (N) losses in Victorian High Rainfall Zone (HRZ) cropping systems are getting clearer.

Recent research in south western Victoria examined rates of N applied, placement of fertilisers and nitrification inhibitors. This work is part of the national agricultural nitrous oxide research program, supported by the GRDC.

Key messages for HRZ growers:

  • When N is applied in excess of crop requirements large nitrous oxide emissions can occur.
  • Better matching N applications to crop demand increases N use efficiency.
  • Split applications of N have lower N losses compared to applying all N at sowing.
  • Recovery of nitrogen is up to 40% greater when N is applied at 1st node, compared to earlier applications.
  • Terminate pasture plants as late as practicable when transitioning from pasture to cropping to reduce losses of N.
  • Avoid long fallow.
  • More information

    GRDC: Where does fertiliser nitrogen finish up?
    GRDC: Time nitrogen to tighten use and losses

    Acknowledgements

    Rob Harris, VIC DEDJTR, Alli Elliot, BCG, Graeme Schwenke, NSW DPI.

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