We are delighted to announce another new publication by members of the FAIRWAY team
Klages, S.; Heidecke, C.; Osterburg, B. The Impact of Agricultural Production and Policy on Water Quality during the Dry Year 2018, a Case Study from Germany. Water 2020, 12, 1519.
Colleagues from Thuenen-Institute used the “agri-drinking water indicator” (ADWI) nitrogen surplus to quantify the effect of the hot summer of 2018 on the national nitrogen budget. Nationwide, at least 464 kt of nitrogen were not transferred to plant biomass in 2018, which amounts to an additional average nitrogen surplus of 30 kg/ha. An increase of the surplus puts an additional threat to water pollution with nitrates. Calculations with model farms showed that fertilization regimes with high shares of organic fertilizers face even greater challenges. Owing to the elevated concentrations on residual nitrogen in soils, the fertilization needs of crops in spring 2019 were less pronounced than in preceding years. Thus, the quantity of the continuously produced manure in livestock farms puts additional pressure on existing storage capacities. Water shortages under climate change not only impact agricultural production and yields, but also place further challenges and threats to nutrient management and the environment.
Maize field in Germany (photo S. Klages, 2018)