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Reducing fertilizer in sugarbeets can protect water quality

  • Author(s): Kalfka, Stephen R.
  • Kirby, Don
  • Peterson, Gary R.
  • et al.
Abstract

The loss of nutrients from fertilizers can impair surface and ground waters. Environmentally sensitive crop management requires applying only enough fertilizer to ensure economic crop yields. We found that sugarbeets grown in soils rich in organic matter in the Upper Klamath Basin can be fertilized at very low rates and used to remove more nutrients in harvested roots than are applied as fertilizer. This in turn reduces the risk of leaching excess nutrients and may help protect surface waters in the region from additional enrichment.

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