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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Nitrate Nitrogen Content of Rain and Runoff Water from Plots under Different Cropping Systems on Soil Classified as Vernon Fine Sandy Loam1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 3 No. C, p. 230-233

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  1. Harley A. Daniel,
  2. Harry M. Elwell and
  3. Horace J. Harper2



Runoff water and soil losses from plots under different controlled cropping systems were collected from 1930 to 1937, inclusive, at the Soil Conservation Experiment Station at Guthrie, Oklahoma. Aliquots of runoff water and rainfall were collected and analyzed for nitrate nitrogen.

The largest quantity of nitrate nitrogen appearing in the rain water during any season was 1.530 pounds per acre and the lowest 0.403, while the average was 0.976 pounds per acre. The smallest quantity of nitrates occurred during the driest year. The amount of nitrates found annually in the rain is considerably greater than that removed in the runoff from all plots except the desurfaced area. These results show that nitrate nitrogen is not removed from the surface of this soil in large amounts by erosion.

The quantity of nitrate nitrogen removed in water from the controlled plots was closely related to the percentage of runoff where the surface soil was studied. The results obtained from these plots show that other factors such as a desirable rotation, vegetative cover, and water conservation methods which increase the absorption of rainfall by soil, are essential in reducing nitrate nitrogen losses in runoff to a minimum.

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