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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030710

A Model Approach for Yield-Zone-Specific Cost Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by Nitrogen Fertilizer Reduction

1
Department of Technology Assessment and Substance Cycles, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
2
Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstraße 42, 10115 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Climate Smart Agriculture)
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Abstract

Nitrogen use in agriculture has been intensified to feed the growing world population, which led to concerns on environmental harms, including greenhouse gas emissions. A reduction in nitrogen fertilization can abate greenhouse gas emissions, however, it may result in crop yield penalties and, accordingly, income loss. Assessment tools are necessary to understand the dynamics of nitrogen management issues both in environmental and economic aspects and both at low and high aggregation levels. Our study presents a model approach, estimating yield-zone-specific costs of greenhouse gas mitigation by moderate reduction of mineral nitrogen fertilizer application. Comparative advantages of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by nitrogen fertilizer reduction were simulated for five yield-zones with different soil fertility in the state of Brandenburg, Germany. The results suggest that differences in yield response to nitrogen fertilizer lead to considerable differences in greenhouse gas mitigation costs. Overall cost-efficiency of a regional greenhouse gas mitigation by nitrogen fertilizer reduction can be substantially improved, if crop and yield-zone-specific yield responses are taken into account. The output of this study shall help to design cost-efficient agro-environmental policies targeting with specific crop yield response functions at different sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: reactive nitrogen; yield response function; normalization; comparative advantage; GHG abatement reactive nitrogen; yield response function; normalization; comparative advantage; GHG abatement
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Karatay, Y.N.; Meyer-Aurich, A. A Model Approach for Yield-Zone-Specific Cost Estimation of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by Nitrogen Fertilizer Reduction. Sustainability 2018, 10, 710.

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