Project: UK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)

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Principal investigators: Dr. Tom Misselbrook, Rothamsted Research; Professor Fusuo Zhang, China Agricultural University

Associated with: BBSRC-Newton Fund Call for Virtual Joint Centres with Brazil, China and India in Agricultural Nitrogen

Project Summary:

The UK has some of the most efficient farming systems in the world but is experiencing stagnating yields and continued problems with reactive nitrogen polluting air and water. China desperately needs increasing food production but this must be achieved in accordance with the Government’s new “zero increase” policy, referring to chemical inputs, especially fertiliser.

The UK-China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (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 (an improved fundamental understanding of N cycling); 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).

The Centre is linked to other Virtual Joint Centres on agricultural nitrogen in Brazil, China and India (including N-Circle which is led by the University of Aberdeen and The Indo-UK Centre for the Improvement of Nitrogen use Efficiency in Wheat (INEW) which is led by Rothamsted) and with other collaborative research countries across the world. The Centre also contributes to the newly-created, Newton-funded Centre for the Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture (CSIA) led by Rothamsted and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS).

Leaflet: CINAg Leaflet