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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 2, p. 310-312
     
    Received: July 18, 1983


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doi:10.2134/jeq1984.00472425001300020027x

Peak Nitrate-Nitrogen Values in Surface Runoff from Fertilized Pastures1

  1. L. B. Owens,
  2. W. M. Edwards and
  3. R. W. Van Keuren2

Abstract

Abstract

Pastured watersheds on hill slopes in eastern Ohio were fertilized with ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) at two different levels for 5 years. The pastures were rotationally grazed during either the growing season (May–October) or the dormant season (November–April). Nitrate-N concentrations were measured in surface runoff events > 0.1 mm from nine watersheds. During the 5-year period, there were 890 runoff events. Sixty-four of these events (7%) had NO3-N concentrations > 10 mg/L, and 48 of the 64 events occurred within a 30-d period following fertilizer application. Ten events, < 2% of all of the runoff events, exceeded 30 mg/L NO3-N, and all of these were within 17 d of fertilization. Although all surface runoff events which closely followed fertilizer applications did not have high NO3-N concentrations, all surface runoff with high NO3-N was shortly preceded with a fertilizer application. The closeness of the high NO3-N concentration and fertilizations suggested that fertilizer was the major contributor to high NO3-N in runoff as opposed to animal waste.

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