Nitrate leaching: modifying the loss from mineralized organic matter

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Goss, M. J., Howse, K. R., Christian, D. G., Catt, J. A. and Pepper, T. J. 1998. Nitrate leaching: modifying the loss from mineralized organic matter. European Journal of Soil Science. 49 (4), pp. 649-659.

AuthorsGoss, M. J., Howse, K. R., Christian, D. G., Catt, J. A. and Pepper, T. J.
Abstract

The impact on nitrate leaching of agronomic practices designed to immobilize nitrogen in autumn and winter was investigated over 4 years. Experimental treatments (reducing tillage depth, incorporating harvest residues, reducing fertilizer N by growing unfertilized grass or by spring-sown rather than autumn-sown crops) were compared with a control treatment in which autumn crops were sown after burning harvest residues, mouldboard ploughing and seedbed preparation. Winter cover cropping was also compared with winter fallowing. In the first year, incorporation of harvest residues or reducing tillage depth significantly decreased nitrate leaching compared with the control. Unfertilized grass did not affect leaching in the first winter but significantly decreased it in years 2 and 3. When winter cover crops were grown, nitrate leaching was never less than that under an autumn-sown cereal, and in the subsequent year leaching could be significantly greater. Winter fallowing caused the most nitrate leaching over the year. In the winter following a spring-sown crop, leaching under an autumn-sown crop greatly increased. Summed over 4 years, most leaching occurred with the winter fallow-spring cropping treatment; it was 18% mon than where a winter cover crop preceded the springs crop. Reducing tillage depth or incorporating harvest residues did not significantly decrease leaching. Unfertilized grass ley followed by an autumn-sown cereal in the fourth year was the only treatment that significantly reduced leaching loss compared with the control. Incorporating harvest residues resulted in a balance between annual N inputs and outputs. All other treatments required substantial net annual N mineralization to balance annual inputs and outputs.

KeywordsSoil Science
Year of Publication1998
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Journal citation49 (4), pp. 649-659
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1046/j.1365-2389.1998.4940649.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code220
441
ISSN13510754
PublisherWiley

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