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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The National Phosphorus Project: Interfacing Agricultural and Environmental Phosphorus Management in the U.S.

item Sharpley, Andrew
item Kleinman, Peter
item Wright, Robert
item Joern, Brad - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Parry, Roberta - U.S. EPA
item Sobecki, Terry - USDA-NRCS

Submitted to: International Conference on Agricultural Effects on Ground and Surface Waters
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2002
Publication Date: August 20, 2002
Citation: Sharpley, A.N., Kleinman, P.J., Wright, R.J., Daniel, T., Joern, B., Parry, R., Sobecki, T. 2002. The national phosphorus project: interfacing agricultural and environmental phosphorus management in the u.s.. International Conference on Agricultural Effects on Ground and Surface Waters. 95-101.

Interpretive Summary: Inputs of phosphorus (P) are essential for profitable crop and animal production. However, P loss in runoff can accelerate freshwater eutrophication. Recent outbreaks of harmful algal blooms have forced many states to consider developing recommendations for watershed management, which include basing P applications to soil on the potential for P loss in agricultural runoff. These efforts are being hampered by a lack of information. The National P Project was initiated to provide the scientific basis for defensible P management strategies that protect water quality. Research conducted under the auspices of the Project are aimed at determining soil P thresholds for water quality and defining critical source areas of P exported from watersheds. The outcome of the National P Project will be the development of cost-effective, integrated nutrient management strategies that target remedial activities on areas specifically yat risk of P loss.

Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Phosphorus (P) Project was initiated to identify environmental thresholds of soil P, construct tools to define critical source areas of P export from watersheds, and develop integrated nutrient management strategies for water quality protection. A consortium of federal and state government agencies and universities are participating in nthe Project. Initial Project results point to a nonlinear relationship between runoff P and soil P for most soils, suggesting the existence of natural thresholds in soil P, above which there is a higher risk of P loss in runoff. Other findings indicate that P release to runoff from noncalcareous soils is greater than that from calcareous soils. Over the next 5 years, the National P Project is expected to contribute to the development of cost-effective nutrient management strategies that target remedial activities on areas at risk of P loss.

Last Modified: 3/27/2015
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