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Nitrogen Fertirrigation: an Integrated Agronomic and Environmental Study
Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria and Castellanos Serrano, Maria Teresa and Ribas Elcorobarrutia, Francisco and Cabello Cabello, María Jesús and Arce Martinez, Augusto and Cartagena Causape, Maria Carmen
Nitrogen Fertirrigation: an Integrated Agronomic and Environmental Study.
"Agricultural Water Management", v. 120
Proper management of the N applied to crops is necessary in order to increase yield, improve water use efficiency (WUE) and reduce the pollutions risks with the least economic, environmental and health costs. A field study with melon crops was conducted during 2005, 2006 and 2007 in central Spain, using 11 different amounts of N. Some environmental indexes have been proposed, to provide an essential tool for determining the groundwater pollution risks associated with common agricultural practices. These indexes are related to variation in the nitrate concentration of drinking water (Impact Index (II)) and groundwater (Environmental Impact Index (EII)). Also, the Management Efficiency (ME) was calculated, which is related to the amount of fruit produced per gram of N leached (Nl). To determine the optimum dose of N, it was also necessary to know the N mineralisation (NM). Our results show that 160 kg ha?1 of available N (Nav) produced the maximum fruit yield (FY), enhanced WUE and gave an NM of 85 kg ha?1, while the impact indexes did not exceed the fixed maximum allowable limits and ME was adequate. The proposed indexes proved to be an effective tool for determining the risk of nitrate contamination and confirmed that the optimum dose of N corresponded to the maximum FY with minimal loss of Nl.
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