Estimating non-gaseous nitrogen losses from established turf

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Preserving the quality of ground water resources has become a serious concern for those responsible for intensively man- aged turf operations in suburban and rural areas of the humid eastern U.S.A. Nitrate leaching from Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratmsis L. cv. Baron) and Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra ssp. commutata Gaud cv. Jamestown) turf managed at different fertility levels was estimated and compared with nitrogen (N) loss through clipping; removal. Urea was applied at 72, 144 and 288 kg N ha-1yr-1in increments throughout the growing season or as a single treatment in mid-May. Thrf intensively managed for eight years was compared with minimally fertilized turf 18 months old. Clippings were collected, analyzed for N and found to contain amounts equivalent to 51 to 102% of the N applied. Percent N recovery in clippings was inversely related to application rate. Nitrate (NO3) leaching during the growing season was estimated from a hydrologic mass balance model and the nitrate content of soil water collected in suction lysimeters installed 60 cm in the soil. Leaching accounted for <1 to 8% of applied N. Vigorous healthy turf is a strong sink for N but its capacity may decrease after prolonged periods of intensive fertility management. © 1995 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Turfgrass Management