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Nutrient Load from Two Drainage Systems on Clay Soil

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

Citation:  9th International Drainage Symposium held jointly with CIGR and CSBE/SCGAB Proceedings, 13-16 June 2010  IDS-CSBE-100155.(doi:10.13031/2013.32138)
Authors:   Helena Äijö, P Vakkilainen, L Alakukku, M Myllys, J Nurminen, M Paasonen-Kivekäs, M Puustinen, R Peltomaa
Keywords:   Nutrient load, Crop yield, Drainage system

In the southern and the south-western parts of Finland 75% of the arable land has subsurface drainage. The Finnish state subsidizes subsurface drainage on certain conditions including for example different envelope materials, drain depth and total drain length per hectare. The typical drain depth is 1.0-1.2 m and the drain spacing varies mostly between 12 and 26 meters depending on the soil type. Gravel is the most common envelope, but also synthetic and semisynthetic textile, cocos fibre and wood chips are used. The aim of this study is to find out how two different kind of drainage methods affect crop production and nutrient load in both drainage waters and surface runoff. In the method I gravel is used as an envelope and the drain spacing is 8 m. In the method II very thin textile (<1 mm) is used as an envelope and drain spacing is 6 m. The research is carried out on a field at Jokioinen in south-western Finland. The soil is heavy clay and the mean slope is 1%. The existing tile drainage pipes were laid in 1954 using 16 m spacing and an average depth of 1 m. The size of the field is 6 ha and it consists of 3 field sections each with a separate drainage system. In the summer of 2008, the additional drainage systems were built into two of the field sections using the methods I and II . The third one was left as a control plot. Runoff volume and water quality of subsurface and surface waters and crop yield from each field section have been measured. Concentrations of total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphate, total nitrogen, ammonium nitrate, nitrate nitrogen and solid substances have been determined from the samples. In the paper runoff, nutrient load and crop yield from the calibration and testing periods are presented. The feasibility of the two drainage methods is evaluated from the point of view of crop production and nutrient loading to surface waters.

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