Drainage Management Systems
Boxing up agricultural field nitrogen with saturated buffers
Scientists started to develop edge-of-field practices so that growers could keep the early planting offered by the tile drains while protecting nearby streams-and the Gulf of Mexico-from nitrate contamination.
Saturated riparian buffer strips reconnect water flow back through the soil, taking advantage of the natural cleansing ability of the soil. The strips reduce nitrate levels from tile-drained fields but are not suitable for all farm fields. This paper looks at the work of Tom Isenhart from Iowa State University and his team who investigated the ability of saturated strips of naturalized land near streams to remove nitrate from tile drainage water. | READ MORE