Excessive nitrogen (N) fertilization and decreasing N recovery rates by crops have caused dramatic increases in non-point source pollution from agriculture in China. The rate of N fertilization across the country varies widely among regions and crops, depending on the stage of economic development. For example, N application rates in the eastern regions and on cash crops are far higher than in western regions of the country and on cereal crops. Moreover, N application rates in wealthier regions are higher than recommended by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. To successfully achieve environmental protection as well as high crop yields, China must formulate relevant agricultural policies to encourage farmers in economically developed areas to reduce their N fertilization rate while also issuing conventional fertilization recommendations for small-scale farming systems and the expanding cultivation of cash crops.
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Vol. 33 • No. 6