Impact of Drainage Water Management on Crop Yield, Drainage Volume, and Nitrate Loss

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2017-01-01
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Helmers, Matt
Pederson, Carl
Craft, Kristina
Schott, Linda
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
It can be very challenging to locate information about individual ISU Extension publications via the library website. Quick Search will list the name of the series, but it will not list individual publications within each series. The Parks Library Reference Collection has a List of Current Series, Serial Publications (Series Publications of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service), published as of March 2004. It lists each publication from 1888-2004 (by title and publication number - and in some cases it will show an author name).
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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.

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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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1905–present

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Abstract

Subsurface drainage systems are an important component of agricultural production systems in many areas of Iowa. However, these drainage systems have been shown to deliver nitrate-N to downstream waterbodies. So, although subsurface drainage is important for crop production, we also need to consider the design of these systems to minimize nitrate-N loss. Use of drainage water management in the design and operation of subsurface drainage systems is one potential method to reduce nitrate-N loss. Drainage water management may consist of drains installed at shallower depths (i.e. shallow drainage) than conventional designs, or installing water control structures at the outlet (i.e. controlled drainage). Since 2007, a study has been conducted at the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm, Crawfordsville, Iowa, to determine the impact of shallow, controlled, conventional, and no drainage on crop yields, subsurface drainage volumes, and nitrate loss through subsurface drainage. This research investigates whether drainage water management reduces nitrate loadings to downstream surface waters, as well as the yield benefits of these drainage systems.

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