Agricultural water management vol:51 issue:1 pages:53-78
Intensification of the agricultural sector and the increase in quantity and decrease in quality of municipal and industrial wastewater, in particular during the past decades, resulted in many industrial countries, such as Belgium, in a sharp degradation of surface water and groundwater. To control the current degree of contamination and reduce the environmental impact of the agricultural sector, the Flemish government recently introduced a number of regulations aiming at controlling the use of nitrogen fertilisers. To facilitate the implementation and the control of the new regulations, threshold values of allowable doses of organic and inorganic nitrogen fertilisers, and their spreading in time were made soil independent. As the soil physical, chemical and biological response depends on the geohydrology of the site and the past fertilisation practice, fertiliser standards applied on different soil-crop systems result in different leaching patterns.