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The establishment of a new system study: nitrogen flows in mixed farming systems - NT1803

This study will investigate nitrate and other nitrogen losses from a whole farming system and will explore practical means of minimising such losses. A new experimental mixed farm system will be established at the Royal Agricultural College’s Coates Farm, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. The system will be based on best management practised on thin, freely draining soils over permeable substrata, incorporating alternative practices that may reduce nitrate losses. The rotation will be most likely be of 7 years, including wheat, barley and grass ley. Key factors that will be manipulated include crop, fertiliser and manure application rate and timing, stocking rate, and timing and method of cultivation. Sites of nitrogen loss from the system will be identified to allow nitrogen inputs, outputs and transfers within the system to be measured. These measurements will use established techniques for measuring atmospheric deposition, nitrate leaching, gaseous fluxes and mineralization/immobilization at IACR and IGER. Data will be used to refine and further develop the IACR/IGER nitrogen model for mixed farming systems. Management strategies to reduce nitrate losses will be developed and communicated effectively to industry, policy makers and public through reports, research papers, conferences and visits.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 2000

Cost: £713,286
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Royal Agricultural College, Rothamsted Research (BBSRC), Institute of Grassland and Environment Research (IGER)
Fields of Study
Fertilisers and Nitrate Pollution