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Ten Ways to Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland in the Midwest

Ten Ways to Reduce Nitrogen Loads from Drained Cropland in the Midwest

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Price: $4.00

This booklet provides information on a variety of in-field and edge-of-field practices to reduce the amount of nitrogen that leaves fields in tile drainage water.

Across the Mississippi River Basin, 45% reductions in nitrogen loads are necessary to meet national goals established to reduce the size of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. This has heightened the conversation around tile drainage nitrogen loss to an unprecedented level. While tile drainage systems are essential components of agriculture in our region, we must collectively work at a scale never before realized to meet these water quality goals.

There are a number of water quality practices now being promoted, all of which have different nitrogen loss reduction effectiveness, spatial suitability, additional benefits and impacts, and cost. This booklet provides comprehensive information about ten important drainage water quality-improvement practices:

  1. Improved Nitrogen Management
  2. Winter Cover Crops
  3. Increasing Perennials in the Cropping System
  4. Drainage Water Management (Controlled Drainage)
  5. Reduced Drainage Intensity
  6. Recycling Drainage Water
  7. Woodchip Bioreactors
  8. Wetlands
  9. Alternative Open-Ditch Design (Two-stage Ditches)
  10. Saturated Buffers

Read more to find out how the practices work to keep nitrogen out of drainage water, how effective each practice is, and where each practice works.

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