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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339544

Research Project: Management Practices for Long Term Productivity of Great Plains Agriculture

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Nitrate Leaching Management

Author
item MEISINGER, JOHN
item Delgado, Jorge
item ALVA, ASHOK

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2016
Publication Date: 1/15/2017
Citation: Meisinger, J.J., Delgado, J.A., Alva, A.K. 2017. Nitrate Leaching Management. In R. Lal, editor. Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Encyclopedia of Soil Science. Taylor & Francis, New York, NY. p. 1538-1540.

Interpretive Summary: NO3 leaching is a significant N loss process for agriculture that must be managed to minimize NO3 enrichment of groundwater and surface waters. Managing NO3 leaching should involve the application of basic principles of understanding the site’s hydrologic cycle, avoiding excess rates of N, and applying N in phase with crop demand. Other specific techniques to reduce leaching include use of irrigation scheduling, grass cover crops, within-season monitoring with soil NO3–N tests or LCMs, real-time sensors using red and near infrared reflectance, and use of remote sensing with GISs and simulation models to identify the best combination of practices to control leaching. The application of a specific combination of the above practices should increase crop N recovery with concomitant reductions in NO3–N leaching.

Technical Abstract: Nitrate (NO3) leaching is a significant nitrogen (N) loss process for agriculture that must be managed to minimize NO3 enrichment of groundwater and surface waters. Managing NO3 leaching should involve the application of basic principles of understanding the site’s hydrologic cycle, avoiding excess rates of N, and applying N in phase with crop demand. Other specific techniques to reduce NO3 leaching are presented in this entry.