Project ID



This on-farm experiment tested five different cropping systems with the potential to improve nitrate N management in the capture zones of community water supplies in the upper Midwest. Residual soil nitrate N concentrations were determined for each system in order to estimate the likelihood of nitrate N leaching from the system. An economic analysis also was conducted.

Key Question

Are there Iowa cropping systems that retain N, reduce the risk of nitrate N leaking into shallow municipal aquifers and are workable for producers?


Yes, but the systems with the greatest potential for retaining nitrate N utilize perennial grasses and legumes which may be less profitable than corn and soybean.

Principal Investigator(s)

Robert De Haan


Ronald Vos, Matthew Schuiteman, Nelva Huitink, Rebecca Ohrtman, Harla Kruid, Matthew Van Schouwen

Year of Grant Completion