Nitrogen losses from agricultural areas : a fraction of applied fertilizer and manure (FracLEACH)
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The current IPCC guidelines define an estimate for the fraction of mineral fertilizer and animal waste (manure) lost to leaching and runoff (FracLEACH). The FracLEACH default is 30 %. In Norway, 18 % has been used based on calculations made in 1998 (Vagstad et al., 1998). The main purpose of this study was to give an updated estimate of nitrogen (N) leaching in relation to the amounts of N applied in agriculture (FracLEACH). The term losses in this report include both surface and subsurface runoff. The estimates of FracLEACH presented in this report were based on data from the Agricultural Environmental monitoring program (JOVA). The JOVA-program includes catchment and field study sites representing typical situations in Norwegian agriculture with regard to production system, management, intensity, soil, landscape, region and climate. Data from plot- scale study sites confirmed the level of N leaching from the agricultural areas within the JOVA catchments. The overall FracLEACH estimated in this study was 22 % of the N applied. This average covers a variation between sites from 16 % on grassland in Valdres to 44 % in intensive vegetable, potato and cereal production areas in the southernmost part of Norway. Runoff is the most significant parameter for the difference in FracLEACH between catchments. In addition, production system and to some degree soil type are important for FracLEACH. It is thus suggested to use different FracLEACH-values for the different production systems and adjust FracLEACH according to average runoff for the region.