A - Papers appearing in refereed journals
Webster, C. P., Conway, J. S., Crew, A. P. and Goulding, K. W. T. 2003. Nitrogen leaching losses under a less intensive farming and environment (LIFE) integrated system. Soil Use and Management. 19 (1), pp. 36-44.
|Authors||Webster, C. P., Conway, J. S., Crew, A. P. and Goulding, K. W. T.|
Less Intensive Farming and Environment (LIFE) management is a form of integrated farming which aims to meet farming's economic and environmental requirements. We used a farm-scale LIFE demonstration to measure nitrogen (N) leaching losses over a 6 year period (1995-2001) using ceramic suction cups and a meteorological model to give estimates of drainage volumes. Losses from the system averaged 49 kg N ha(-1), with an average drainage nitrate concentration of 15.5 mg N L-1. Rainfall and its distribution strongly influenced the loss, and drainage N concentration only fell below the nominal target of 11.3 mg N L-1 (the EU limit for potable water) in the two wettest seasons. Crop type did not have a significant effect on either postharvest mineral N (PHMN) in soil or the leaching loss in the subsequent winter. However PHMN and overwinter N leaching declined with increasing crop yield. Overwinter crop N uptake increased with early sowing: leaching loss was only 5 kg N ha(-1) under grass sown in early September. Measurements of PHMN, crop sowing date and drainage data were used to construct simple equations to predict average drainage N concentration under various scenarios. The large N loss from our site is partially attributable to soil type (shallow over limestone), indeed on similar soil the loss from a conventional farm nearby was greater. The LIFE practices of postharvest harrowing and late cereal sowing will minimize the need for agrochemical use but they stimulate mineralization and reduce plant N uptake in autumn, leaving more N at risk to leaching. Some assessment of all environmental impacts is needed if the benefits of integrated practices such as those used in LIFE are to be quantified.
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Journal||Soil Use and Management|
|Journal citation||19 (1), pp. 36-44|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1079/SUM2002160|
|Open access||Published as non-open access|
|Funder project or code||441|
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