2019 journal article


TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASABE, 62(5), 1135–1145.

author keywords: Nutrient export; Nutrient management practice; Water quality monitoring
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 27, 2020

Abstract. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) input and export rates were determined in six rural, predominantly agricultural watersheds located in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of North Carolina. Water quality monitoring was conducted at the outlets for 2.3 to 8.0 years to determine the annual N and P export from each watershed. Total N and P input and export from five of the six watersheds were correlated, with only a no-till cropland watershed differing. The correlation showed that N and P exports increased by about 4.0% and 8.7%, respectively, of applied N and P for the range of applications rates, whereas dissolved N (NO x -N) export increased by 2.8% with increasing N application rates. Therefore, practices that reduce inputs, such as nutrient management, should result in similar percentage reductions in exports. The Small Watershed Nutrient Forecasting Tool (SWIFT) was used to forecast discharge, N, P, and sediment export from each of the six watersheds. For the no-till cropland watershed, the SWIFT-forecasted N and P export rates were more than 2.5 times those measured, while the sediment export rate was 72 times the measured value. Thus, these data showed that the SWIFT forecasts for N, P, and sediment export were poor for the no-till cropland watershed. For the pasture watershed, the SWIFT forecasts for N and sediment export agreed reasonably well with measured export; however, the forecasted P export was much less than measured. For the four mixed land use watersheds, the SWIFT forecasts for discharge, TN, and sediment were mostly greater than measured, and the forecasted TP export was less than measured for three of the four watersheds. Thus, as with many predicstion tools, SWIFT results must be used with caution. Keywords: Nutrient export, Nutrient management practice, Water quality monitoring.