Impact of Nitrogen Fertilization on Soil and Aquifers in the Humid Pampa, Argentina

The Open Agriculture Journal 6 May 2008 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331500802010022


There is great concern worldwide about air and water pollution arising from N-fertilizer. Considering the expansion of agriculture and fertilization practices in Argentina, the objective of this study was to determine the effect of Nfertilizers on soil N dynamics and then relationship with nitrate concentration in aquifers. Soil samples were taken during a maize crop cycle in two agricultural farms under different fertilization treatments: UAN (urea, ammonium nitrate and ammonium tiosulfate, 110 kg N ha-1); and UREA (urea, 60 kg N ha-1). UAN and UREA treatment produced an increase in soil nitrate content (from 6 to 550 and 60 mg N kg-1 respectively) and the 71% of aquifers sampled exceeded 45 mg l-1. Our results indicate that uan application produced great N losses and did not increase soil residual N, suggesting that the high amount of nitrates in aquifers would arise from the soil N losses.

Keywords: Nitrate dynamics, microbial processes, water pollution.
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