Water and anion movement under ridge tillage: A field study

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Hamlett, J. M.
Baker, J. L.
Horton, R.
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Horton, Robert
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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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A ridge-tillage configuration, with placement of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) or its source in the elevated portion of the ridge, can potentially isolate fertilizer from downward water flow and minimize nitrate leaching. Data are reported for a rainfall simulation study where 24, 50, and 72 mm of rain were applied to ridged and flat plots which had been treated with NO3-N and bromide (Br). Soil analyses for water, NO3-N, and Br showed that placement of anions in the elevated portion of the ridge reduced their leaching compared to a similar application with flat tillage, even though total water movement through both systems was comparable. Vertical anion movement was much greater than horizontal movement and the depth of downward movement increased as the amount of simulated rainfall increased.


This article is published as Hamlett, J. M., J. L. Baker, and R. Horton. "Water and anion movement under ridge tillage: a field study." Transactions of the ASAE 33, no. 6 (1990): 1859-1866. doi: 10.13031/2013.31550. Posted with permission.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1990