Joint project: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in rapeseed cultivation with special reference to nitrogen fertilization; Project coordination, building a network and transnational data analysis and evaluation
Project code: 22403212, TI-AK-08-PID1458
Contract period: 01.08.2012 - 31.12.2016
Purpose of research: Networks and research co-ordination
The European Union and Germany aim for significant fractions of fuel supply to be produced from biomass. Rapeseed oil is currently the most important renewable resource for biodiesel. Since 2011, the EU Renewable Energy Directive requires biofuels to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by 35 % compared to fossil fuels. This value increases to 50 % in 2017 and challenges the production of rapeseed as renewable energy resource. Whether production of biodiesel can achieve the obligatory reduction of greenhouse gas emission predominantly depends on rape yield and emissions from the agricultural production chain. Thus, our research project pursues the following objectives: 1. Regionally differentiated quantification of greenhouse gas emissions from rapeseed crop sequences and the examination and evaluation of practical cropping strategies for mitigation of yield-scaled emissions and regional optimization of mitigation benefits from rapeseed biofuel. 2. Economical evaluation of rapeseed cropping strategies with optimized mitigation benefits. 3. Developing new scientific knowledge for controling N2O emissions from rapeseed crop sequences, for regionalization of N2O emission factors, and for evaluation of humus reproduction performance of winter rape. 4. Establishing a European scientific network for measuring and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from rapeseed cultivation. 5. Developing recommendations for agricultural paxis and policy makers regarding mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from rapeseed cultivation as well as improving the scientific basis for evaluation of rapeseed cultivation in the climate-protection context. The joint research has established nationwide 5 randomized field trials, which comprise the entire typical crop sequence (winter rape - winter wheat - winter barley) simultaniously with different fertilization treatments. In addition to measuring greenhouse gas and ammonia fluxes the project records yields and numerous explanatory parameters. In addition to emission data the field trials also provide information of mitigation potentials. The project also collects and evaluates data from agricultural praxis and results from preceding field trials. Together with data from the project's field trials this data enables modelling of yield-scaled emissions as well as the ecological and economical evaluation of cropping strategies with optimized climate protection impact.