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Journal Articles Nitrogen Year : 2021

Cascade Effect of Nitrogen on Brazilian Soybean Production Chain

Vanessa Theodoro Rezende
Thierry Bonaudo
Ricardo Barboza Alves
  • Function : Author
Rafael Araújo Nacimento
Augusto Hauber Gameiro


Soybean is one of the most traded products. Naturally, soy fixes nitrogen through biological symbiosis. Its cultivation transforms natural inert atomic nitrogen into its reactive forms. The advancement of soybean can have environmental impacts, both locally and globally. This study estimated nitrogen flows and their use efficiency in the Brazilian soybean production chain applying material flow analysis. We innovate proposing a new indicator to estimate the “cascade effect of nitrogen” in a framework of 12 years (2007 to 2019). We hypothesized that it is capable to show accumulated nitrogen emissions through the chain. Besides, the method can show the main sources of nitrogen to the environment. The biological fixation was the largest entry. The efficiency in the use of nitrogen was 81% for grain production, and the nitrogen cascade indicator, which represents the ratio of the nitrogen emission in the environment to the total nitrogen available in the product, was only 5.2% in the soybean meal production chain for the year of 2019, with a clear trend of increasing during the period. Thus, Brazil contributes significantly to global nitrogen emissions in the environment since the country is an important producer and player in the world market.
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Dates and versions

hal-03691435 , version 1 (10-06-2022)



Vanessa Theodoro Rezende, Thierry Bonaudo, Ricardo Barboza Alves, Rafael Araújo Nacimento, Augusto Hauber Gameiro. Cascade Effect of Nitrogen on Brazilian Soybean Production Chain. Nitrogen, 2021, 2 (2), pp.128-138. ⟨10.3390/nitrogen2020009⟩. ⟨hal-03691435⟩


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