Vegetable Production Best Management Practices to Minimize Nutrient Loss

in HortTechnology
Author: T.K. Hartz1
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  • 1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Nutrient loss from commercial vegetable fields has become a significant environmental issue in all the major vegetable-producing regions of the United States. Growers are facing potentially disruptive regulations aimed at improving the quality of both surface and ground water. Significant improvement in nutrient management will be required to meet this regulatory challenge. This paper discusses five practical, low-cost nutrient best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs are widely applicable, relatively inexpensive to implement, and can dramatically reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loss from vegetable fields. However, even with careful application of these BMPs, runoff and leachate from vegetable fields may periodically exceed environmental water quality standards, which are very stringent.