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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Phosphorus Management and Water Quality Protection

Authors
item Wortmann, Charles - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Helmers, Matt - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Mallarino, Antonio - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Barden, Charles - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Devlin, Dan - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Pierzynski, Gary - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Lory, John - UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
item Massey, Ray - UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
item Holz, John - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Shapiro, Charles - UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
item Kovar, John

Submitted to: Extension Service Bulletins
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: December 12, 2005
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Citation: Wortmann, C., Helmers, M., Mallarino, A., Barton, C., Devlin, D., Pierzynski, G., Lory, J., Massey, R., Holz, J., Shapiro, C., Kovar, J.L. 2006. Phosphorus management and water quality protection. Heartland Water Quality Workgroup, Regional Workgroup Bulletin. In: The Midwest (RP187) Lincoln; University of Nebraska Press. p.23.

Interpretive Summary: Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth of crops and aquatic vegetation. Phosphorus often needs to be applied to the land for optimal crop growth. When more P is applied to the land in the form of mineral fertilizer, animal manure, or biosolids (sewage sludge) than is required by the crop, the risk of P losses and subsequent pollution of fresh water increases. The movement of P from agricultural land to surface and ground water is a complex process involving multiple pathways. Phosphorus dissolved in runoff water and attached to soil particles eroded from the land moves into freshwater streams and lakes. Recently applied P is particularly prone to losses and is affected by sevaral factors, such as the form (fertilizer vs. manure) of P applied, the time since application, and whether it is applied over the top of the soil or mixed with the surface layer of soil. The factors contributing to P losses from agricultural land to surface water are commonly grouped as source (site and management) factors and transport factors. The purpose of this publication is to provide a resource that nutrient management planners can use to understand the risk of P losses to streams and lakes, assessment of this risk, and P management options for reducing this risk. It is targeted toward producers, local environment groups, and Cooperative Extension and NRCS personnel in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for growth of crops and aquatic vegetation. Phosphorus often needs to be applied to the land for optimal crop growth. Land application of P as animal manure, biosolids (sewage sludge), and mineral fertilizer can increase the risk of P pollution of freshwater. The movement of P from agricultural land to surface and ground water is a complex process involving multiple pathways. Phosphorus moves into surface freshwaters dissolved in runoff water and attached to particulate matter eroded from the land. Recently applied P is particularly prone to losses and is affected by factors such as the form of P applied, the time since application, and the placement. The factors contributing to P loss from agricultural land to surface waters are commonly grouped as source (site and management) factors and transport factors. This publication is a resource that nutrient management planners can use to understand the risk of P delivery to surface waters, assessment of this risk, and P management options for reducing this risk. It is targeted to USEPA Region 7 comprised of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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