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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED DRAINAGE WATER & AGRONOMIC MGMT STRATEGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION & SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN THE MIDWEST U.S.

Location: Soil Drainage Research

Title: Drainage water management

Authors
item Skaggs, R -
item Fausey, Norman
item Evans, Robert -

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2012
Publication Date: November 20, 2012
Citation: Skaggs, R.W., Fausey, N.R., Evans, R.O. 2012. Drainage water management. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. 67(6):167A-172A.

Interpretive Summary: This article introduces a series of papers that report results of field studies to determine the effectiveness of drainage water management (DWM) on conserving drainage water and reducing losses of nitrogen (N) to surface waters. The series is focused on the performance of the DWM (also called controlled drainage [CD]) practice in the US Midwest, where N leached from millions of acres of cropland contributes to surface water quality problems on both local and national scales. Results of these new studies are consistent with those from previous research reported in literature that DWM can be used to reduce N losses (primarily in the nitrate nitrogen [NO3-N] form) from subsurface drained fields. The measured impact varied over a wide range (18% to more than 75% reduction in N loss to surface waters), depending on drainage system design, location, soil, and site conditions. Crop yields were increased by DWM on some sites and not on others, with the year-to-year impacts of DWM on yields dependent on weather conditions, as well as the above factors.

Technical Abstract: This article introduces a series of papers that report results of field studies to determine the effectiveness of drainage water management (DWM) on conserving drainage water and reducing losses of nitrogen (N) to surface waters. The series is focused on the performance of the DWM (also called controlled drainage [CD]) practice in the US Midwest, where N leached from millions of acres of cropland contributes to surface water quality problems on both local and national sales. Results of these new studies are consistent with those from previous research reported in the literature that DWM can be used to reduce N losses (primarily in the nitrate nitrogen [N03-N] form) from subsurface drained fields. The measured impact varied over a wide range (18% to more than 75% reduction in N loss to surface waters), depending on drainage system design, location, soil, and site conditions. Crop yields were increased by DWM on some sites and not on others, with the year-to-year impacts of DWM on yields dependent on weather conditions, as well as the above factors.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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