Reduction in nitrogen fertilizer use results in increased rice yields and improved environmental protection

<p>Overuse of nitrogen fertilizer represents a considerable environmental problem globally, but especially in China. Recently, a recent approach on an experimental scale based on the diffusion of the so-called Three-Control Technology (TCT) successfully alleviated the overuse of nitrogen fertilizer in southern China villages in the Guangdong Province, serving as a reference point for other rice-producing countries tackling similar challenges. Here, we assessed the correlation between rice yields and reduction in the use of nitrogen fertilizer following the introduction of TCT. Our study was based on the collection of primary data from 248 households randomly selected from four rice-growing areas of Guangdong Province, China. Our results show that TCT significantly improved the efficiency in the use of nitrogen. Crucially, participating farmers, including both full adopters and partial adopters, were found to fundamentally change their application practices of nitrogen fertilizer, resulting in major improvements in the local soil and water systems.</p>