Excessive use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers is likely to be responsible for the increasing nitrate in groundwater. Thus, appropriate water and nutrient management is required to minimize groundwater pollution and to maximize the nutrient-use efficiency. In this study HYDRUS-2D software package was applied to simulate nitrate leaching from a drip-irrigated sandy agricultural soil for varying emitter discharges and various amounts of fertilizer. It was found that for small emitter discharge values free drainage increased significantly with increase in discharge, whereas the increase was leveled out at greater discharge values. Nitrate leaching increased with an increase in emitter discharge and amount of fertilizer, but the rate of increase was most significant for low emitter discharges. Based on the results, with regard to the selection of emitter discharge and the amount of appropriate fertilizer amount, nitrate leaching from a potato field can be minimized even in a sandy soil.
Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 2013, Vol 44, Issue 20, p. 2917-2931