Water and Fertilizer Nitrogen Management to Minimize Nitrate Pollution from a Cropped Soil in Southwestern Quebec, Canada
- Cite this article as:
- Elmi, A.A., Madramootoo, C., Egeh, M. et al. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (2004) 151: 117. doi:10.1023/B:WATE.0000009910.25539.75
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Nitrate-N (NO3--N) pollution of water resources is a widely recognized problem. Water and nitrogen fertilizer are the two most important factors affecting NO3--N movement to surface and groundwater. Field trials were conducted from 1998 to 2000 growing seasons to investigate the combined impacts of water table management (WTM) and N fertilization rate on NO3--N concentration in the soil profile and in drain discharge. There were two water table treatments: free drainage (FD) with open drains at a 1.0 m depth from the soil surface and subirrigation (SI) with a target water table depth of 0.6 m below the soil surface, and two N fertilizer rates: 120 kg N ha-1 (N120) and 200 kg N ha-1 (N200) in a split-plot design. Compared to FD, SI reducedNO3--N concentration in the soil by up to 50% averaged over the two N rates. Concentrations of NO3--N in drainage water fromSI plots were lower than those from FD by 55 to 73%. These findings suggest that SI can be used as a means of reducing soil NO3--N pollution and drainage water NO3--N concentrations.