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A Computer Approach To Evaluating Runoff And Leaching Risk Of Nitrogen To Island Soil, Coastal Waters, Aquifers, And Streams

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

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21958)
Authors:   Russell Yost, Hu Li , Christopher Smith, James Lum, Larry Shinshiro, Shirley Nakamura, Hudson Minshew, and Michael Robotham
Keywords:   Decision-aids, nitrogen risk, nitrate pollution

Island waters and environments are highly susceptible to contamination from many sources both manmade and natural. This includes applications of nutrients as part of agricultural food and fiber production. The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) recently requested assistance in developing a scientifically reliable method of evaluating risk to coastal waters, aquifers, and streams associated with nitrogen (N) applications in food production systems. The Nitrogen Risk Evaluator (NRE) was developed to evaluate and suggest ways to reduce N contamination risk. The structure of the evaluation includes three components: 1) The amount of nitrogen available for transport, 2) Transport factors including the amount of water which is available for surface transport or leaching through the soil profile as well as factors reducing runoff and leaching, and 3) The vulnerability of the associated waterbodies. Each of the three component factors is evaluated in an interactive window and options available for modifying management are presented to assist in mitigating high risk conditions. A three tier architecture was designed for NRE. The base data tier of NRE is an SQL server database, which includes data tables of local land properties; water quality limited watersheds, crop data, and runoff curve number data. The middle tier is a disjunctive web service, which caches data and algorithms between the SQL server and the top tier. The top tier provides options for web, Windows desktop, or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) implementations of the software. A Windows desktop implementation was chosen for the NRE application. Microsoft ASP.Net (C#) was used for NRE development.

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