nt Efficiency
RARE
Regionally Applied Research
Effort Grant Program
Background
Groundwater nitrate contamination af-
fects thousands of households in the
Southern Willamette Valley Ground-
water Management Area (GWMA). To
reduce non-point source loading of ni-
trogen to groundwater and surface wa-
ters, successful approaches are needed
within affected communities to inte-
grate science, outreach and manage-
ment efforts.
Researchers at Oregon State University
monitored non-point source loading of
nitrogen in Lane County in the 1990's.
Building upon this work and the com-
munity ties built in the GWMA by Or-
egon Department of Environmental
Quality (ODEQ), the Partnership to
Improve Nutrient Efficiency (PINE)
brings together commercial farmers,
Department of Agriculture (ODA),
Soil & Water Conservation Districts
and many more to assess the current
state of groundwater in the GWMA.
Goal
A project to improve surface
and groundwater quality in the
southern Willamette Valley
GWMA by providing GWMA-
wide tools and information to
reduce leaching of nitrate from
farm fields.
	Assess the effectiveness of cur-
rent fertilizer management prac-
tices in the GWMA for reducing
nitrate contamination of ground-
water
	Test models that can support
nutrient and ecosystem services
trading to improve surface and
groundwater quality
Approach
PINE began in 2013 by working
with OSU Extension and producers
to locate and test existing 1990s
lysimeters in Benton, Linn and
Lane counties. The team identified
additional producers to install
Prenart lysimeters at a total of 15
sites. Producers allow for soil and
water sampling on their fields and
share information about their land
management practices. In turn,
PINE shares information about
leaching and soils data back to pro-
ducers. Sampling began in 2014
and will continue through 2017.
Ultimately we will calculate
monthly nitrogen budgets for each
field to highlight connections be-
tween leaching and management.
Accomplishments 2013 - 2015
	Identified growers who voluntarily joined the research effort in 2014. All are still participating
	Measured nitrate leaching monthly from 15 fields m the GWMA for > 2 years
	Shared 2+ years of nitrate leaching data with farmers via biannual summary sheets
	Hosted Nutrient Workshop in Monroe, OR (January 2016)
	Presented work to over 30 groups at the local, regional and national scale
	Calibrated study data to the USDA's Agricultural Policy /Environmental extender (APEX) model
PAGE 1

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ficiency
Crop Changes: Past to Present
The 1990s crop landscape in Lane County consisted pri-
marily of cannery vegetables and peppermint. The crop
landscape of the GWMA as a whole has shifted since the
1990s, and today focuses on grass seed crops. Comparing
nitrate leaching results from the present study to OSU's
prior work many crops show reduced leaching while oth-
ers are higher than expected. Current work will increase
understanding of nutrient losses over time.
1990s Crops
Today's Crops
Wheat
Wheat
Peppermint
Peppermint

crops
Orchard
Grass
Blueber
Blueberry
2016 - 2017 Current Work
	Measure nitrate leaching from 14 active farm
fields (2014-2017)
	Soil sample pre-fertilizer and post-harvest on
study fields and additional fields throughout
the GWMA
	Publish annual fact sheets for the public
	Develop water quality scenario and model
	Continue sharing soil and water quality data
	Develop project website
	Develop protocol to assess crop Nutrient Use
Efficiency for one or two GWMA crops
Project Partners
UPPER WILLAMETTE SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Your partner for Clean Water, Productive Soil and Wildlife Habitat
GWMA
GROUNDWATER
minium uti
Oregon State
not!
UNIVERSITY
Extension Service
Oregon
Department
of Agriculture
State of Oregon
Department of
Environmental
Quality
BENTON
SOIL AND WATER
LCOG
LANE COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
CONSERVATION
DISTRICT
PAGE 2
Multi Agency Collaboration
Project Support
	EPA Regionally Applied Research Effort
(RARE) Grant
	In-kind support from Land Owners, Natural
Resources Conservation Service, Soil & Water
Conservation Districts, SWV Groundwater
Management Area, Dept. of Environmental
Quality, & OR Dept. of Agriculture
	Contract support Willamette Partnership, Lane
Council of Governments, Oak Ridge Institute
for Science and Education (ORISE), Dynamac
Above: PINE Cooperators sampling water for nitrate
concentrations in groundwater wells. These wells
are in the downgradient of the lysimeter field.
For more information:	Susanna Pearlstein (541) 754-4534 	^ c< + ,
J	EPA 600-F-l6-290 September 2016

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