Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizers as Excellent Way to Reduce Nitrogen Losses: A Review

  • Namrata Arya


Around one-fourth to one-third of applied fertilizer nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere as ammonium and nitrous oxide gases, or as nitrates in surface and ground waters, causing a slew of environmental and health issues. With a worldwide nitrogen use of about 102 million tonnes (mt) in 2009, the loss of applied nitrogen may vary from 25 to 34 mt, or $12.5 to $17 billion USD; India's N loss estimates could be 3-4 mt, or 1.5-2.0 billion USD. Globally, projections for 2050 range from 27.5 to 36.6 billion US dollars, with India accounting for 3.25 to 4.35 billion US dollars. This is a massive waste of natural resources, energy, and money that must be minimized, if not eliminated entirely. Controlled release fertilizers (CRF), slow release fertilizers (SRF), and bio-supplemented fertilizers (fertilizers amended with nitrification/urease inhibitors) are all options for increasing production and reducing nitrogen losses. International financing, similar to that available for carbon bonds, is needed to support the use of such N fertilizers in South, Southeast, and East Asia, the area that consumes approximately 60% of the world's total N fertilizer use and is home to the majority of the world's poor. This study focused on the many kinds of delayed release fertilizers that are widely used, their worldwide consumption, and their impact on crop growth and nitrogen losses.