Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Applications of Agricultural System Models in Assessing and Managing Contamination of the Soil-Water-Atmosphere Continuum in Agriculture

Authors
item Ahuja, Lajpat
item Ma, Liwang
item Saseendran, Anapalli - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Malone, Robert

Submitted to: International Symposium for the Agricultural Environment
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Ahuja, L.R., Ma, L., Saseendran, A., Malone, R.W. 2006. Applications of agricultural system models in assessing and managing contamination of the soil-water-atmosphere continuum in agriculture. International Symposium for the Agricultural Environment. International Symposium for the Agricultural Environment.

Interpretive Summary: In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980s, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems that will help evaluate both short and long-term effects of cropping systems (crop rotations) and associated management practices on water and soil quality, as well as production. An ARS team, lead by the Great Plains (now Agricultural) Systems Research Unit, developed a process-level model of cropping systems and management effects for this purpose. The model was named the Root Zone Quality Model (RZWQM), even though it simulates both water-soil quality and production. This model has been and is being used internationally by scientists and students. This paper will present the results of some recent applications of RZWQM and related system models for assessing and managing contamination of soil-water-atmosphere continuum in agriculture. In particular, its application to quantify and assess the effects of key management practices in a 26-year study on controling N contamination of groundwater through tile drains in Iowa will be presented.

Technical Abstract: In the last three decades, there has been a growing public concern about the adverse effects of modern agriculture on environmental quality and soil-water resources. In the mid-1980's, the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) identified the need for models of whole agricultural systems that will help evaluate both short and long-term effects of cropping systems (crop rotations) and associated management practices on water and soil quality, as well as production. An ARS team, lead by the Great Plains (now Agricultural) Systems Research Unit, developed a process-level model of cropping systems and management effects for this purpose. The model was named the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM), even though it simulates both water-soil quality and production. This model has been and is being used internationally by scientists and students. This paper will present the results of some recent applications of RZWQM and related system models for assessing and managing contamination of soil-water-atmosphere continuum in agriculture. In particular, its application to quantify and assess the effects of key management practices in a 26-year study on controlling N contamination of groundwater through tile drains in Iowa will be presented.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014