The report is one of a series which presents the findings of intensive interagency investigations of practical means to control the nitrate concentration in subsurface agricultural waste water prior to its discharge into other water on such areas as the San Joaquin Valley. As a result of the application of large quantities of water to relatively slowly permeable stratified soils, the west side of the San Joaquin Valley now has large areas with groundwater at rootzone depths. Wherever subsurface drains have been installed to control this groundwater, the drainage effluent has had high nitrate concentrations. Large quantities of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers are applied annually and the assumption prevails that fertilizer is the major source of nitrates in the drainage water. The study was designed to evaluate this assumption and to derive, ifpossible, practical answers regarding the role of on-farm practices in controlling nitrate out-put from the agricultural lands. Examined are the nitrogen budget and methods for reducing the quantity of nitrates in the drainage effluent by modifications in type or use of fertilizers, farming practives, or drainage techniques.