A remarkable group of 160 scientists, agronomists, agricultural extension agents, certified crop advisors, seed and fertilizer industry representatives, regulatory agency representatives, non-government organization (NGO) scientists, and farmers met in Kansas City on August 13-15 2013 to address their common concerns about how modern agriculture can meet the growing demand for nutritious and affordable food and biofuels while minimizing unintended environmental impacts. This conference focused on nitrogen (N) in fertilizers and manures. All crops and animals need N, but unintentional leakage of N out of farms causes significant pollution of air and water. Sub-optimal nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in agriculture is largely responsible for these N losses. Improving NUE presents an opportunity for reducing both environmental impacts and farming costs. The main question posed to this group was:
What are the technical, economic, and social impediments and opportunities for increased nitrogen use efficiency in crop and animal production systems?
This document contains the consensus statement that emerged from the conference.