thumbnail

The relationship of nitrate concentrations in streams to row crop land use in Iowa

Journal of Environmental Quality

By:
,

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS

Abstract

The relationship between row crop land use and nitrate N concentrations in surface water was evaluated for 15 Iowa watersheds ranging from 1002 to 2774 km2 and 10 smaller watersheds ranging from 47 to 775 km2 for the period 1996 to 1998. The percentage of land in row crop varied from 24 to >87% in the 15 large watersheds, and mean annual NO3-N concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 10.8 mg/L. In the small watersheds, row crop percentage varied from 28 to 87% and mean annual NO3-N concentrations ranged from 3.0 to 10.5 mg/L. In both cases, nitrate N concentrations were directly related to the percentage of row crop in the watershed (p < 0.0003). Linear regression showed similar slope for both sets of watersheds (0.11) suggesting that average annual surface water nitrate concentrations in Iowa, and possibly similar agricultural areas in the midwestern USA, can be approximated by multiplying a watershed's row crop percentage by 0.1. Comparing the Iowa watershed data with similar data collected at a subwatershed scale in Iowa (0.1 to 8.1 km2) and a larger midcontinent scale (7300 to 237 100 km2) suggests that watershed scale affects the relationship of nitrate concentration and land use. The slope of nitrate concentration versus row crop percentage decreases with increasing watershed size.The relationship between row crop land use and nitrate N concentrations in surface water was evaluated for 15 Iowa watersheds ranging from 1002 to 2774 km2 and 10 smaller watersheds ranging from 47 to 775 km2 for the period 1996 to 1998. The percentage of land in row crop varied from 24 to >87% in the 15 large watersheds, and mean annual NO3-N concentrations ranged from 0.5 to 10.8 mg/L. In the small watersheds, row crop percentage varied from 28 to 87% and mean annual NO3-N concentrations ranged from 3.0 to 10.5 mg/L. In both cases, nitrate N concentrations were directly related to the percentage of row crop in the watershed (p<0.0003). Linear regression showed similar slope for both sets of watersheds (0.11) suggesting that average annual surface water nitrate concentrations in Iowa, and possibly similar agricultural areas in the midwestern USA, can be approximated by multiplying a watershed's row crop percentage by 0.1. Comparing the Iowa watershed data with similar data collected at a subwatershed scale in Iowa (0.1 to 8.1 km2) and a larger midcontinent scale (7300 to 237 100 km2) suggests that watershed scale affects the relationship of nitrate concentration and land use. The slope of nitrate concentration versus row crop percentage decreases with increasing watershed size.Mean nitrate concentrations and row crop land use were summarized for 15 larger and ten smaller watersheds in Iowa, and the relationship between NO3 concentration and land use was examined. Linear regression of mean NO3 concentration and percent row crop was highly significant for both sets of watershed data, but a stronger correlation was noted in the small-watershed data. Both data sets suggested that mean annual surface-water NO3 concentrations in the state could be approximated by multiplying the watershed's percent row crop by 0.1. The slope of NO3 concentration versus row crop percentage appeared to decrease with increasing watershed size.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The relationship of nitrate concentrations in streams to row crop land use in Iowa
Series title:
Journal of Environmental Quality
Volume
29
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Soc of Agronomy Inc
Publisher location:
Madison, WI, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Environmental Quality
First page:
1846
Last page:
1851
Number of Pages:
6