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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tillage and Crop Rotation Effects on Drainage Water Quality

item Kanwar Rameshwar, - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Colvin, Thomas
item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: Clean Water Clean Environment 21st Century Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Current farming practices have significantly increased crop productivity, but they have also polluted groundwater in some areas. This study was conducted to evaluate effects of no-till, ridge-till, chisel-plow, and moldboard plow tillage with continuous corn and a corn-soybean rotation on leaching loss of nitrate and pesticides to tile drainage water. Moldboard plow and ridge-till practices had lowest nitrate loss with continuous corn, while rotation plots had the lowest losses with no-till and ridge-till practices. Atrazine losses were greater than those for alachlor, cyanazine, and metribuzin. No-till and ridge-till had the highest atrazine loss, while moldboard plots had the lowest losses. The highest nitrate and atrazine losses occurred with continuous corn, in part because it received higher N fertilizer, but produced lower grain yield. Based on our results, continuous corn is not an environmentally or economically sustainable practice for this area or where similar soils are found.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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