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Environmental Impact of Irrigation in La Violada District (Spain). II. Nitrogen Fertilization and Nitrate Export Patterns in Drainage Water

AutorIsidoro, Daniel ; Quílez Sáez de Viteri, Dolores ; Aragüés Lafarga, Ramón
Fecha de publicaciónmay-2006
EditorAmerican Society of Agronomy
CitaciónJournal of Environmental Quality 35 (3): 776-785
ResumenFertilizer leaching affects farm profitability and contributes to nonpoint-source pollution of receiving waters. This work aimed to establish nitrate nitrogen export from La Violada Gully in relation to nitrogen fertilization practices in its basin (La Violada Gully watershed, VGW, 19 637 ha) and especially in La Violada Irrigation District (VID, 5282 ha). Nitrogen (N) fertilization in VID (and VGW) was determined through interviews with local farmers for the hydrologic years 1995 and 1996 and NO3-N load in the gully was monitored from 1995 to 1998. The N fertilizer applied in VGW was 2175 Mg in 1995 and 2795 Mg in 1996. About 43% was applied in VID (945 Mg in 1995 and 1161 Mg in 1996). The most fertilized crop was corn: 398 kg N ha−1 (665 Mg) in 1995 and 453 kg N ha−1 (911 Mg) in 1996. Nitrogen fertilization was higher than N uptake for irrigated crops, especially for corn and rice. Nitrate N load in La Violada Gully averaged 427.4 Mg yr−1. Seventy-five percent of the exports took place during the irrigation season (321.8 Mg). During the non-irrigation season maximum NO3-N loads (3.1 Mg NO3-N d−1) were found after heavy rains following the N side-dressing of wheat in the rain-fed area of VGW (February). During the irrigation season NO3-N load was determined by outflow from the district (caused by irrigation) and to a lesser extent by changes in NO3 concentration (caused by fertilization), showing peaks in April (pre-sowing corn N fertilization and first irrigations) and June to August (highest irrigation months and corn side-dress N applications, maximum 6.3 Mg NO3-N d−1 in July). Adjusting N fertilization to crops' needs, improving irrigation efficiencies, and better scheduling N fertilization and irrigation in corn could reduce N export from VID.
Descripción10 Pag., 6 Tabl., 4 Fig.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2005.0065
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/28074
DOI10.2134/jeq2005.0065
ISSN0047-2425
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