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Water Quality Changing Trends from a Subsurface Drained and Subirrigated Field

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801767.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801767)
Authors:   Xinhua Jia, Minglian Lin
Keywords:   Linear model, Subsurface drainage, Subirrigation, Water quality.

Abstract. Due to frequent precipitation, poorly drained soils, and flat topography, subsurface drainage has become a useful tool to drain excess water and maintain farm fields in production. Controlled drainage and subirrigation are also used to optimally manage the water for good yield potential for a 44 ha research field in southeastern North Dakota. The impact of different water management practices on water quality in the surface water and subsurface water was also monitored in 2008-2017. This paper describes the results analyzed by a linear model. After separating all observation data into three distinct periods, before subirrigation in the spring, during subirrigation, and after subirrigation in the fall, increasing trends were observed mainly for surface water samples. For subsurface water samples, the trends were not significantly different in the two fields. Comparing the mean values for the chemical concentrations, a higher difference was found between the surface and subsurface water samples, with the soluble chemicals higher in the subsurface than that in the surface water samples. However, the chemical load analysis showed that the total dissolved solids were much higher in 2008-2010, compared to that in 2012-2017. A delay in drainage due to sump size and pump performance also caused the shift of chemical loads from fall 2013 to spring 2014 between the west and the east fields.

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