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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Controlling Nitrate Leaching and Erosion on Irrigated Land

Authors
item Carter, David
item Westermann, Dale
item Sojka, Robert
item Meek, B - ARS RETIRED
item Wright, James
item Brown, Melvin
item Lehrsch, Gary

Submitted to: Clean Water Clean Environment 21st Century Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Irrigation-induced erosion and nitrate leaching in irrigated agriculture areas can be controlled. Improved conservation tillage cropping systems that significantly reduce nitrate leaching and increase nitrate utilization by crops following legumes and at the same time almost eliminate irrigation-induced erosion have been developed and evaluated at the Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, Kimberly, ID. Adding low concentrations of polyacrylamides (PAM) to irrigation water essentially eliminated irrigation-induced erosion. These new studies have great potential or conserving valuable top soil and protecting the environment. Applying the technology from these studies can save America and other countries billions of dollars over only a few years, and the long term value of these newly developed management practices is tremendous.

Technical Abstract: Research by the Agricultural Research Service, USDA, at Kimberly, Idaho, has provided new information and new management alternatives for controlling nitrate leaching and irrigation induced erosion. Improved conservation tillage cropping systems that significantly reduce nitrate leaching and increase nitrate utilization by crops following legumes and at the same time almost eliminate irrigation-induced erosion have been developed and evaluated. Adding very low concentrations of polyacrylamides (PAM) to irrigation water essentially eliminates irrigation induced erosion. This approach has tremendous potential for erosion control. Detailed field studies have show that significant amounts of nitrate -N can be lost from the plant root zone of the soil during the noncropping winter season with the movement of relatively small amounts of water. Research is continuing on these and related subjects.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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