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Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agriculture can be tackled by reducing demand for, and consumption of, nitrogen (N) inputs via diet modification and waste reduction, and/or through technologies applied at the field level. This article focusses on the latter options. Opportunities for mitigating N2O emissions at the field level can be advanced by a clearer scientific understanding of the system complexities leading to emissions, while maintaining agricultural system sustainability and productivity. A range of technologies are available to reduce emissions, but rather than focus specifically on emissions, the broader management and policy focus should be on improved N use efficiency and effectiveness; for lower N2O emissions per unit of crop and animal product, or per unit of land area.