Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source nitrogen control

Jeffrey S. Strock, Curtis James Dell, John P. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In watersheds dominated by agriculture, artificial drainage systems can efficiently and quickly transport excess water from agricultural soils. The application of more nitrogen (N) than a crop uses creates a surplus in the soil and increases the risk of N loss to the environment. We examine issues associated with agricultural N use, N transfer from artificially drained agricultural land to drainage ditches, N cycling within ditches, and options for management. Watercourses in agricultural watersheds often have high concentrations of N and are effectively N saturated. Numerous processes are involved in N cycling dynamics and transport pathways in aquatic ecosystems including N mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. Flow control structures can lower N losses related to artificial drainage by increasing water retention time and allowing greater N removal. An ongoing study in Minnesota compares the impact of flow control structures on N losses from paired ditches with and without flow control. During the first year of observation, results were mixed, with lower N concentrations in nonstorm event samples from the ditch with the flow control structure, but no significant difference in annual total N load between the two ditches. Appropriate management of drainage ditches represents a potential opportunity to remove biologically available forms of N from drainage water through a combination of physical and biogeochemical processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume62
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

Fingerprint

drainage channels
drainage systems
flow control
drainage
nitrogen
agricultural watersheds
drainage water
surpluses
agricultural soils
denitrification
nitrification
watershed
agricultural land
mineralization
water
water retention
agriculture
agricultural soil
aquatic ecosystem
ditch

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Strock, Jeffrey S. ; Dell, Curtis James ; Schmidt, John P. / Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source nitrogen control. In: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 2007 ; Vol. 62, No. 4. pp. 188-196.
@article{ed7950b5b51e4da1baea2a48bab0e266,
title = "Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source nitrogen control",
abstract = "In watersheds dominated by agriculture, artificial drainage systems can efficiently and quickly transport excess water from agricultural soils. The application of more nitrogen (N) than a crop uses creates a surplus in the soil and increases the risk of N loss to the environment. We examine issues associated with agricultural N use, N transfer from artificially drained agricultural land to drainage ditches, N cycling within ditches, and options for management. Watercourses in agricultural watersheds often have high concentrations of N and are effectively N saturated. Numerous processes are involved in N cycling dynamics and transport pathways in aquatic ecosystems including N mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. Flow control structures can lower N losses related to artificial drainage by increasing water retention time and allowing greater N removal. An ongoing study in Minnesota compares the impact of flow control structures on N losses from paired ditches with and without flow control. During the first year of observation, results were mixed, with lower N concentrations in nonstorm event samples from the ditch with the flow control structure, but no significant difference in annual total N load between the two ditches. Appropriate management of drainage ditches represents a potential opportunity to remove biologically available forms of N from drainage water through a combination of physical and biogeochemical processes.",
author = "Strock, {Jeffrey S.} and Dell, {Curtis James} and Schmidt, {John P.}",
year = "2007",
month = "7",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "62",
pages = "188--196",
journal = "Journal of Soils and Water Conservation",
issn = "0022-4561",
publisher = "Soil Conservation Society of America",
number = "4",

}

Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source nitrogen control. / Strock, Jeffrey S.; Dell, Curtis James; Schmidt, John P.

In: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Vol. 62, No. 4, 01.07.2007, p. 188-196.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing natural processes in drainage ditches for nonpoint source nitrogen control

AU - Strock, Jeffrey S.

AU - Dell, Curtis James

AU - Schmidt, John P.

PY - 2007/7/1

Y1 - 2007/7/1

N2 - In watersheds dominated by agriculture, artificial drainage systems can efficiently and quickly transport excess water from agricultural soils. The application of more nitrogen (N) than a crop uses creates a surplus in the soil and increases the risk of N loss to the environment. We examine issues associated with agricultural N use, N transfer from artificially drained agricultural land to drainage ditches, N cycling within ditches, and options for management. Watercourses in agricultural watersheds often have high concentrations of N and are effectively N saturated. Numerous processes are involved in N cycling dynamics and transport pathways in aquatic ecosystems including N mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. Flow control structures can lower N losses related to artificial drainage by increasing water retention time and allowing greater N removal. An ongoing study in Minnesota compares the impact of flow control structures on N losses from paired ditches with and without flow control. During the first year of observation, results were mixed, with lower N concentrations in nonstorm event samples from the ditch with the flow control structure, but no significant difference in annual total N load between the two ditches. Appropriate management of drainage ditches represents a potential opportunity to remove biologically available forms of N from drainage water through a combination of physical and biogeochemical processes.

AB - In watersheds dominated by agriculture, artificial drainage systems can efficiently and quickly transport excess water from agricultural soils. The application of more nitrogen (N) than a crop uses creates a surplus in the soil and increases the risk of N loss to the environment. We examine issues associated with agricultural N use, N transfer from artificially drained agricultural land to drainage ditches, N cycling within ditches, and options for management. Watercourses in agricultural watersheds often have high concentrations of N and are effectively N saturated. Numerous processes are involved in N cycling dynamics and transport pathways in aquatic ecosystems including N mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. Flow control structures can lower N losses related to artificial drainage by increasing water retention time and allowing greater N removal. An ongoing study in Minnesota compares the impact of flow control structures on N losses from paired ditches with and without flow control. During the first year of observation, results were mixed, with lower N concentrations in nonstorm event samples from the ditch with the flow control structure, but no significant difference in annual total N load between the two ditches. Appropriate management of drainage ditches represents a potential opportunity to remove biologically available forms of N from drainage water through a combination of physical and biogeochemical processes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=35948989612&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=35948989612&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

VL - 62

SP - 188

EP - 196

JO - Journal of Soils and Water Conservation

JF - Journal of Soils and Water Conservation

SN - 0022-4561

IS - 4

ER -