Nitrogen-efficient Crops: Similar Yields, Better for Water and the Climate

Biotech crops, such as more nitrogen efficient crops, can help preserve water resources by increasing nutrient efficiency and limiting run-offs.

Most plants use less than half of the nitrogen applied to them through fertilizers. Increasing the nitrogen efficiency in a plant allows farmers to use less fertilizer, which in turns reduces the risk of leaching.

Furthermore, unused nitrogen is a major source of GHG emissions as unused nitrogen volatilises in the form of NO2, accounting for 1/3 of the emissions produced by agriculture.

Current research aims to produce plants that can achieve the same yields as conventional plants while using 50% less nitrogen fertilizer.