Reducing the environmental impact of rice production in subtropical India by minimising reactive nitrogen loss

Dibyendu Chatterjee*, Saikat Ranjan Das, Sangita Mohanty, Baishnap Charan Muduli, Arti Bhatia, Bitish Kumar Nayak, RM Rees, Julia Drewer, Amaresh Kumar Nyak, Tapan K. Adhya, Chidambaranathan Parameswaran, Jitendriya Meher, Biswajit Mondal, Mark A. Sutton, Himanshu Pathak

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The future of reactive nitrogen (N) for subtropical lowland rice to be characterised under diverse N-management to develop adequate sustainable practices. It is a challenge to increase the efficiency of N use in lowland rice, as N can be lost in various ways, e.g., through nitrous oxide (N2O) or dinitrogen (N2)emissions, ammonia (NH3) volatilization and nitrate (NO3-) leaching. A field study was carried out in the subsequent wet (2021) and dry (2022) seasons to assess the impacts of different N management strategies on yield, N use efficiency and different N losses in a double-cropped rice system. Seven different N-management practices including application of chemical fertilisers, liquid organic fertiliser, nitrification inhibitors, organic nutrient management and integrated nutrient management (INM) were studied. The application of soil test-based neem-coated urea (NCU) during the wet season resulted in the highest economic yield, while integrated nutrient management showed the highest economic yield during the dry season. Total N losses by volatilization of NH3, N2O loss and leaching were 0.06-4.73, 0.32-2.14 and 0.25-1.93 kg ha-1, corresponding to 0.06-5.84%, 0.11-2.20% and 0.09-1.81% of total applied N, respectively. The total N-uptake in grain and straw was highest in INM (87-89% over control) followed by the soil test-based NCU (77-82% over control). In comparison, recovery efficiency of N was maximum from application of NCU + dicyandiamide during both the seasons. The average N footprint of paddy rice was 1.07-1.28 kg N-eq. t-1 during both seasons under various N management. Ammonia volatilization was the process responsible for the largest N loss, followed by N2O emissions, and NO3- leaching in these subtropical lowland rice fields. After ranking the different N management practices on a scale of 1 to 7, soil test-based NCU was considered the best N management approach in the wet year 2021, while INM scored the best in the dry year 2022.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number120261
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Early online date13 Feb 2024
    Publication statusPrint publication - Mar 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2024 Elsevier Ltd


    • Nitrogen use efficiency
    • Ammonia volatilization
    • Nitrate leaching
    • Lowland rice ecosystem
    • Nitrous oxide
    • Neem coated urea


    Dive into the research topics of 'Reducing the environmental impact of rice production in subtropical India by minimising reactive nitrogen loss'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this