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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 2, p. 584-589
    Received: Feb 25, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): jjabro@tricity.wsu.edu
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SOIL–SOILN Simulations of Water Drainage and Nitrate Nitrogen Transport from Soil Core Lysimeters

  1. J.D. Jabro *a,
  2. W.L. Stoutb,
  3. S.L. Falesc and
  4. R.H. Foxc
  1. a USDA-ARS, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, WA 99350
    b USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Lab., University Park, PA 16802
    c Department of Agronomy, 116 A.S.I. Bldg., Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802


Water resources protection from nitrate nitrogen (NO3–N) contamination is an important public concern and a major national environmental issue. The abilities of the SOIL–SOILN model to simulate water drainage and nitrate N fluxes from orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) were evaluated using data from a 3-yr field experiment. The soil is classified as a Hagerstown silt loam soil (fine, mixed, semiactive, mesic Typic Hapludalf). Nitrate losses below the 1-m depth from N-fertilized grazed orchardgrass were measured with intact soil core lysimeters. Five N-fertilizer treatments consisted of a control, urine application in the spring, urine application in the summer, urine application in the fall, and feces application in the summer. The SOIL–SOILN models were evaluated using water drainage and nitrate flux data for 1993–1994, 1994–1995, and 1995–1996. The N rate constants from a similar experiment with inorganic fertilizer and manure treatments under corn (Zea mays L.) were used to evaluate the SOILN model under orchardgrass sod. Results indicated that the SOIL model accurately simulated water drainage for all three years. The SOILN model adequately predicted nitrate losses for three urine treatments in each year and a control treatment in 1994–1995. However, it failed to produce accurate simulations for two control treatments in 1993–1994 and 1995–1996, and feces treatments in all three years. The inaccuracy in the simulation results for the control and feces treatments seems to be related to an inadequate modeling of N transformation processes. In general, the results demonstrate the potential of the SOILN model to predict NO3–N fluxes under pasture conditions using N transformation rate constants determined through the calibration process from corn fields on similar soils.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:584–589.