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Research: Extreme precipitation and nutrient loss in Illinois

January 16, 2024  By Marin Skidmore and Jonathan Coppess | University of Illinois

Scientists recently confirmed last year’s lived experience: 2023 was the hottest year on record, and by a lot. The European climate monitor announced that global average temperature last year was 2.66 degrees Fahrenheit warmer as measured against global average temperatures for the pre-industrial base period of 1850-1900  (Copernicus, January 9, 2024; Zhong and Collins, January 9, 2024; Poynting and Rivault, January 9, 2024). In general, warmer air holds more moisture and tends to produce larger precipitation events, or extreme rains; as the planet continues to warm, the more common these events will become (see e.g., NOAA, NCEI, November 18, 2020). Among the many impacts on farming from extreme precipitation are those on nutrient losses from soils and fields. Previously in this series, we covered the basics of nutrient loss and precipitation (farmdoc daily, December 7, 2023) and the impact of extreme precipitation on phosphorus runoff (farmdoc daily, January 4, 2023).  Today’s article focuses on the role of precipitation in driving losses of nitrogen. | READ MORE

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