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© Thünen-Institut/AK
[Translate to English:]
Institute of

AK Climate-Smart Agriculture


Nitrogen management of rapeseed cultivation

Chamber measurment on plots with different catch crops  after spring harvest
© TU München/Beat Vinzent
Chamber measurment on plots with different catch crops after spring harvest

Optimization of nitrogen management and improvement of ecological efficiency of rapeseed by sensor controlled subarea-specific nitrogen fertilizing

The nitrogen management of rapeseed cultivation is crucial for the ecological footprint of biodiesel. Methods of precision farming provide an approach to improving it.

Background and Objective

Soil properties can exhibit significant small-scale heterogeneity. Subarea-specific nitrogen fertilizing adapts nitrogen additions for this and for the resulting small-scale variations of plant nitrogen demand. The project studies how much greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated using this approach.

Target Group

The project is geared towards agricultural praxis and consulting


The Technical University of Munich has established a field experiment with sub-area specific N fertilization. The Thünen Institute provides equipment and its strong expertise for greenhouse gas flux measurements and analyses to the joint project.


Comparison of nitrous oxide emissions during winter from different succeeding crops after rapeseed  (winter wheat with conventional or reduced tillage, winter barley, mustard, ryegras) did not show any reduction compared to conventional winter wheat at the study site.

Comparing different N fertilizers showed that urea stabilized with a nitrification inhibitor could reduce nitrous oxide emissions from rapeseed cultivation at the study site by up to 50 % compared to non-stabilized urea or ammonium sulphate nitrate. Similar results were obtained for soil nitrate content. However, oil yields were equal between fertilizer treatments.

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Technische Universität München
    (München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Deutschland)


7.2013 - 12.2015

More Information

Project status: finished


  1. 0

    Vinzent B, Fuß R, Maidl FX, Hülsbergen KJ (2018) N2O emissions and nitrogen dynamics of winter rapeseed fertilized with different N forms and a nitrification inhibitor. Agric Ecosyst Environ 259:86-97, DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2018.02.028

  2. 1

    Vinzent B, Fuß R, Maidl FX, Hülsbergen KJ (2017) Efficacy of agronomic strategies for mitigation of after-harvest N2O emissions of winter oilseed rape. Eur J Agron 89:88-96

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