Evaluation of tillage and crop rotation effects on groundwater quality—Nashua project
Sampling shows that agricultural chemicals are occurring increasingly in ground- and surface water in Iowa. The same trend has been reported throughout the United States; one study reported finding 73 pesticides in the groundwater of 34 states. Even pesticides known to be adsorbed to soil particles (and thus relatively immobile) have been found in a few sampled wells in trace concentrations. Nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) is the most common agricultural chemical found in groundwater. Nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides applied to the soil surface prior to and immediately following crop planting are particularly susceptible to surface runoff or leaching to groundwater through the soil profile.