Impact of Nitrogen and Water Management on Ground Water Quality

by James S. Schepers, Univ of Nebraska, Lincoln, United States,
Milton G. Moravek, Univ of Nebraska, Lincoln, United States,
Ronald Bishop, Univ of Nebraska, Lincoln, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


Nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in shallow ground water of the Platte River Valley in Central Nebraska have been increasing since the 1950s when irrigation and nitrogen (N) fertilizer made corn production consistently profitable. The ground water protection program initiated by the Central Platte Natural Resource District (CPNRD) in 1987 was the first comprehensive N management program in Nebraska. Production data for the 1988 and 1989 growing seasons showed that yield expectations were overly optimistic and average fertilizer N application rates exceeded recommendations. Excessive rates of N fertilizer application resulted in larger than normal amounts of carryover N at the end of the growing season and higher than average NO3-N concentrations in ground water used for irrigation.

Subject Headings: Groundwater quality | Water resources | Nitrogen | Groundwater management | Quality control | Groundwater pollution | Seasonal variations | Agricultural wastes | Nebraska | United States

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