Leaching losses of nitrogen from a clay soil under grass and cereal crops in Finland
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A 16-plot experimental field was established in 1975 on a clay soil in Jokioinen, Finland. The water discharge through tile drains was measured and its ammonium and nitrate N contents determined for each plot separately. The surface runoff was also measured and analysed. The annual runoff and the N leached from the surface of moderately fertilized (100 kg/ha/y N) cereal plots varied during 1976–1982 from 21 to 301 mm and from 2 to 7 kg/ha, respectively. The discharge of water and leaching of N through subdrains varied from 65 to 225 mm and from 1 to 38 kg/ha, respectively. The highest leaching was probably caused by a previous fallow. The annual N uptake by the crop varied between 41 and 122 kg/ha.
Of the fertilizer-N used for cereals, 20% of that applied in the autumn was lost, but only 1 to 4 per cent was lost when applied in the spring. There was much less N leaching from ley than from barley plots, although the former was given twice as much N. The rate of N fertilization had only a very slight effect on N leaching from both ley and barley plots.
The results were compared with those obtained in lysimeters filled with clay, silt, sand and peat soils. No definite conclusions can be drawn because the lysimeter experimental data are only for the first year.
Key wordsBarley Clay soil Fertilizer N Leaching loss Lysimeter Meadow fescue NPK fertilizer Timothy Winter wheat
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