Ground-Water Contamination by Fertilizer Nitrogen

by Harold R. Duke, Agr. Engr.; U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Fort Collins, Colo.,
Dale F. Heermann, Agr. Engr.; Fort Collins, Colo.,
Darryl E. Smika, Soil Scientist; Akron, Ohio,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 3, Pg. 283-291

Document Type: Journal Paper


Nitrogen percolation beneath the crop root zone was significantly reduced by careful irrigation management using the USDA irrigation scheduling program. Deep percolation losses were measured directly using vacuum extractors. Analyses of both deep soil cores and water samples from piezometers suggest that significant amounts of percolating nitrate are removed by denitrification, either before or soon after reaching the water table, thus reducing the potential for ground-water contamination.

Subject Headings: Groundwater pollution | Percolation | Fertilizers | Nitrogen | Irrigation | Soil analysis | Soil pollution | Soil water

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