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Influence of the Shortening of the Winter Fertilization Prohibition Period in Hungary Assessed by Spatial Crop Simulation Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Sándor Koós

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Béla Pirkó

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Gábor Szatmári

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Péter Csathó

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Marianna Magyar

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • József Szabó

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary
    This author died in 2020.)

  • Nándor Fodor

    () (Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-2462 Martonvásár, Hungary)

  • László Pásztor

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Annamária Laborczi

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Klára Pokovai

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

  • Anita Szabó

    () (Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary)

Abstract

The Nitrates Directive aims (a) to protect water quality across Europe from nitrates originating from agricultural sources that pollute ground and surface water, and (b) to promote good farming practices. One of the most controversial measures of the directive is the winter prohibition period of fertilization, which has been extended by a month in two steps in recent years. According to the regulation, it is forbidden to apply nitrogen fertilization in Hungary between 31st October and 15th February, even though the winter climate is gradually becoming milder. Using the fertilization data of nearly half a million parcels of land in the Hungarian Nitrate Database, a crop model-based spatial analysis was carried out. Our aim was to test if a shift in the prohibition period starting date from 31st October to 30th November caused any differences in the nitrate amount leached at a 90 cm depth. Detailed nitrate inputs and soil and weather databases were coupled with the 4M crop model. The yield, plant nitrogen uptake, and nitrate leaching under five major crops were simulated, covering a considerable portion of arable land. Shifting the prohibition period starting date did not result in significant changes in the nitrate leaching. Further runs of the 4M model with different weather scenarios are needed to decide whether the modification of the prohibition period significantly affects the amount of nitrate leached.

Suggested Citation

  • Sándor Koós & Béla Pirkó & Gábor Szatmári & Péter Csathó & Marianna Magyar & József Szabó & Nándor Fodor & László Pásztor & Annamária Laborczi & Klára Pokovai & Anita Szabó, 2021. "Influence of the Shortening of the Winter Fertilization Prohibition Period in Hungary Assessed by Spatial Crop Simulation Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(1), pages 1-15, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:13:y:2021:i:1:p:417-:d:474875
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tomislav Hengl & Jorge Mendes de Jesus & Gerard B M Heuvelink & Maria Ruiperez Gonzalez & Milan Kilibarda & Aleksandar Blagotić & Wei Shangguan & Marvin N Wright & Xiaoyuan Geng & Bernhard Bauer-Marsc, 2017. "SoilGrids250m: Global gridded soil information based on machine learning," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(2), pages 1-40, February.
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