SCIENCE PROJECT

UK-CHINA VIRTUAL JOINT CENTRE FOR IMPROVED NITROGEN AGRONOMY CINAG

Increasing the adoption of sustainable nitrogen management practices in China and the UK through the development of novel indicators of nitrogen use efficiency.

PROJECT SUMMARY

START DATE:

Friday, January 1, 2016 - 14:00

DURATION:

Ongoing

PROJECT LEADER:

FUNDERS:

  • Newton Fund via BBSRC and NERC

Chinese agriculture faces a pressing problem in that two-thirds of the nitrogen fertiliser that farmers apply to their three main staple crops is not taken up by the plants, and the remainder causes considerable environmental issues. Rothamsted Research and the China Agricultural University lead the CINAg, which will work to improve sustainability of Chinese agriculture and long-term food security. CINAg aims to increase the adoption of sustainable nitrogen management practices in China and the UK through the development of novel indicators of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) based on metrics of soil health and quality; the use of these indicators and other emerging knowledge and tools to test practices and systems leading to sustainable intensification (e.g. innovative fertilisers, novel sensors, crop varieties, manure management); the translation of these developments to farmers (e.g. through guidance documents, decision support systems, phone apps). CINAg will also work closely with the other UK-China Virtual Joint Centre, N-Circle, and contribute to the Newton-funded Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture led by Rothamsted and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

DETAIL

Through CINAg the partners will conduct collaborative research using novel experimental platforms and Long-Term Experiments, through staff exchanges, workshops and sharing of techniques and protocols across a number of interlinked themes including:

  • Livestock manures – effective utilisation of manure nutrients and minimising environmental impacts
  • Soil health and nitrogen transformations – developing indicators of NUE based on soil physical, chemical and biological parameters and their effects on soil N transformations
  • Modelling and upscaling – model development and use at field, catchment and regional scales for the assessment of management interventions on NUE
  • Fertilisers – development and assessment of novel fertiliser products and management to enhance NUE
  • Crop improvements and varieties
  • Knowledge exchange – in particular engaging with the CAU Science and Technology Backyard Program in China

The Virtual Joint Centre will increase the research capability between UK and China for agriculture, food and environmental protection through enhanced infrastructure and staff exchanges for training and development. It will lead to an increased awareness of management options to improve NUE at the farmer level and an evidence-based approach for China and UK N policy development. Ultimately it will lead to economic and social improvements for Chinese smallholder farmers and lower losses of reactive N to the wider environment.

CINAg meeting, Beijing - March, 2016 - copyright Rothamsted Research

COLLABORATORS

  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Prof; Bridget Emmett; Prof. Ute Skiba; Dr Rob Griffiths
  • Bangor University - Prof. David Chadwick; Prof. David Jones
  • China Agricultural University - Prof. Fusuo Zhang; Prof. Xuejun Liu
  • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences - Prof. Minggang Xu
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences - Prof. Lin Ma

RESOURCES

Follow project updates on the ResearchGate project site

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