Story: Irrigation and drainage

Dairy cows and nitrate leaching

Dairy cows and nitrate leaching

Several studies have shown that the main way that nitrate gets into underground water is from cattle urine patches. The amount of nitrogen in a cow urine patch is many times that required for pasture growth, and the excess moves down through the soil into underground water. Research is underway to come up with strategies to reduce this problem.

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Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: Ag3198aRbt.tif
Photograph by G. R. Roberts

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How to cite this page:

Terry Heiler, 'Irrigation and drainage - Irrigation and the environment', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/19633/dairy-cows-and-nitrate-leaching (accessed 27 October 2021)

Story by Terry Heiler, published 24 Nov 2008