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May 2003
Science Update
Wood-Chip Trench Can Staunch Nitrate Flow
Underground tile drains are used on about 30 percent of Midwest farms to speed the draining of excess water from cropland and release it into waterways. But rapid draining allows some nitrate to bypass the soil root zone, where plant roots and other natural processes can remove it.Concerns about seepage of nitrate from fertilized cropland has prompted researchers to seek low-cost ways to curb such nutrient loss. They've found that deep trenches filled with wood chips can halt nitrate seepage fro...
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