Water table effects on bean yield and nitrate distribution in the soil profile
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In order to evaluate the bean yield under different water table levels as well as the moisture and nitrate distribution in the soil profile, a field experiment was carried out in the experimental area of the College of Agricultural Sciences - UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil. Beans were grown in field lysimeters under five water table depths: 30; 40; 50; 60 and 70 cm. The moisture in the soil profile was determined gravimetrically using samples collected at 10; 20; 30; 40; 50; 60 and 70 cm deep. The water table depths of 30cm and 40cm showed the highest productivities (3,228.4kg.ha-1 and 3,422.1kg.ha-1, respectively), with no statistical differences between them. The highest productivity was related to the two highest water table levels (30 and 40cm), which provided the highest moisture average values on the basis of volume in the soil profile (33.3 e 31%) as well as the consumptive use of water (416 and 396mm). The nitrate content during the bean cycle at the extraction depth of 60cm was below the safe drinking limit of 10mg.1-1 for water table depths of 30; 40; 50 and 60cm, which shows the denitrification efficiency as a way of controlling nitrate pollution in water tables. The management of water table can lead to high levels of bean yield and to a better control of nitrate pollution in underground water.
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