Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2000
Publication Date: March 30, 2000
Citation: Dinnes, D.L., Jaynes, D.B., Cambardella, C.A., Colvin, T.S., Hatfield, J.L., Karlen, D.L. 2000. Intensive N fertilizer management effects on water quality at the watershed scale. Proceedings of the Watershed Approach to Improving Water Quality: Fact or Fantasy? Soil and Water Conservation Society. p. 95-99.
Our project, the Walnut Creek Nitrogen Initiative, addresses a prevalent environmental issue of the Midwest, nitrate contamination of tile drainage waters. The project's objective is to quantify changes of nitrate content in tile flow as a result implementing intensive N fertilizer management at the watershed scale. We are using the Late-Spring Soil Nitrate Test (LSNT) method of managing N fertilizer for corn production. With this system, N fertilizer is applied in split applications; the first application is a nominal rate shortly before, or at, planting and the second soon after late-spring soil sampling with the rate determined by soil sampling results. While designed to provide optimum N fertilizer rate and timing, the impact of adopting the LSNT on water quality has not been quantified at the watershed scale. Baseline and treatment effect comparisons of water quality data need to be established in watershed scale projects in order to quantify the effects of management practices.