Nitrogen Leaching

Nitrogen Leaching

Photo by Alec, Jake and Maxwell

Nitrogen Leaching

Location: Iowa State University
Featuring: Derek, Research Soil Scientist

The drainage water in agricultural fields significantly contributes to nitrate contamination of Iowa surface waters and the Mississippi River.

In fields where the water table is close to the surface, tile drainage is used to remove excess water from the soil. This contributes significantly to nitrate (N) contamination of Iowa surface waters and ultimately the Mississippi River.

At Iowa State University, scientists use sump pits to collect water samples from three fields using different farming practices. Then they calculates the concentration and volume of nitrate in this subsurface drainage water. Nitrate testing in these fields shows that organic farming leaches less nitrogen than more conventional methods.

Posts nearby

In 2011, Australia first implemented its innovative Carbon Farming Initiative. Carbon farming allows farmers to earn carbon credits by sequestering carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on... Read more
By The Entrepreneur, Feb 10
In this short animated film, the Kimberley Land Council explains the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative.
By The Sprout, Feb 10
In this video clip, a South Australian farmer denies he is exploiting a legal loophole by distributing raw milk through a cow-share scheme. Several industry leaders and lawmakers including Mark Tyler... Read more
By The Consumer, Oct 31