The nitrogen balance made on a national, regional and/or farm basis provides valuable information about the surplus of nitrogen in agricultural production. This surplus of nitrogen is dispersed into the environment, causing water pollution with nitrate and other compounds of nitrogen, air pollution with ammonia and nitrous oxide. The nitrogen balance in Polish agriculture has undergone vast changes during the last few years, according to economic and social transformations after the collapse of the communist system. The surplus of nitrogen decreased from about 90 kg N/ha in 1989 to about 60 kg N/ha in 1991. More than 30% of nitrogen surplus is volatilized into the atmosphere in the form of ammonia, while similar amounts find their way into the water, particularly groundwater. The amounts of nitrogen losses due to denitrification are difficult to estimate.

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