Science and Education Needs to Reconcile National Environmental and Energy Goals with Current Nitrogen Recommendations.
Raymond E. Knighton and Michael O'Neill. USDA-CSREES-NRE, 1400 Independence Ave, Stop 2210, Washington, DC 20250
Agricultural production has benefited tremendously in the last 50 years from the application of nitrogen fertilizer to increase crop yields. Over this same time frame natural resource impairment has occurred from increases in reactive nitrogen pools in the environment. Research and education have been very instrumental in improving production and growing the agricultural economy. National and global environmental interests now look to research and education to provide solutions to protect the environment and provide new directions in the agricultural economy such as bioenergy. We offer a conceptual approach to research and education interventions aimed at reducing the reactive nitrogen pool that will put agriculture on the correct path for reaching their environmental and energy goals. Agriculture needs to go beyond its traditional science and technology thrust and focus on social and economic barriers preventing adoption of improved management practices. We believe a multimedia and multidisciplinary approach is needed to find solutions to environmental problems while continuing to meet the production demands of feed, fiber and fuel.