Allan Hertzberger, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, Laura Christianson, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL and Daren Harmel, USDA-ARS Center for Agricultural Resources Research (CARR), Fort Collins, CO
The MANAGE Database Drainage Nutrient Concentration Table: An analysis of uncontrollable factors affecting water quality
Allan Hertzberger1, Laura Christianson1, Daren Harmel2,
1 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL
2 Center for Agricultural Resources Research, USDA-ARS, Fort Collins, CO
Technological advances in agricultural methods and inputs have exponentially increased agricultural productivity over the past century. Despite this, there is still a limited understanding of the effects of natural processes on the mobility of plant available nutrients within soil. Uncontrollable factors (e.g. soil properties, region, and climate) related to plant available nutrients must be understood in detail to explain nutrient-related water quality impairments. The Measured Annual Nutrient loads from AGricultural Environments (MANAGE) water quality database is a compilation of nutrient loads and concentrations constructed from peer-reviewed research performed across North America. The database is a tool that can help explain factors that are most related to nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses. An analysis of the newly formed MANAGE Drain Concentration table, a subset of the MANAGE water quality database, aimed to evaluate the influence of uncontrollable factors on agricultural drainage nutrient concentrations. Initial results showed soil texture is one uncontrollable factor that may lead to statistically significant differences in mean tile drainage N and P concentration. Recognizing climatic, soil, and hydrologic variability, and these factors potential influence on drainage nutrient concentrations, will allow for better prioritization of conservation efforts by local, state, and federal agencies and for increased efficiency and effectiveness of limited conservation program funding.