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Nitrous oxide - an indicator of N loss?

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N2O emissions from the soil are a by-product of the process of nitrification, and one of the end-products of the process of denitrification... In the cases of wheat and sorghum sowing in 2010, rainfall immediately after sowing led to significant rates of N2O loss from the applied fertiliser N. For example, in the 5 days after sowing wheat (with fertiliser applied), 139 g of N2O-N/ha was emitted from the soil... These losses of N2O from cropping soils are significant, with the N2O emitted directly from the soil accounting for about 45% of the total greenhouse gas emissions coming from the entire operation of growing, fertilising, spraying and harvesting a wheat crop...
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