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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Role of Precision Farming in Phosphorus Management Practices

Authors
item Mallarino, A - IOWA STATE UNIV/IOWA
item Schepers, James

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Monograph Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2004
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Citation: Mallarino, A.P. and J.S. Schepers. 2005. Role of Precision Farming in Phosphorus Management Practices. p.p. 881-908. In T.J. Sims and A.N. Sharpley (eds.) Phosphorus: Agriculture and the Environment. Amer. Soc. Agron. Monograph 46.

Interpretive Summary: Phosphorus is the second most common nutrient used by plants after nitrogen, so its role in plant growth is significant. When coupled with its strong affinity for most soil particles, it becomes a challenge to manage in an agricultural setting. Phosphorus that is attached to soil and organic matter particles slowly becomes available to plants, so enough fertilizer, manure, and compost must be applied to soil to meet crop needs. This would seem to be an ideal situation in that applied phosphorus would be held in reserve for crop use. However, when soil particles containing the adsorbed phosphorus erode and end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans it can result in serious environmental problems. This Monograph chapter discusses how cultural practices affect phosphorus availability to crops and how losses from the landscape can be minimized using precision farming tools. These technologies include remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), variable rate application methods, and improved cultural practices to increase nutrient use efficiency and reduce erosion losses.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus is the second most common nutrient used by plants after nitrogen, so its role in plant growth is significant. When coupled with its strong affinity for most soil particles, it becomes a challenge to manage in an agricultural setting. Phosphorus that is attached to soil and organic matter particles slowly becomes available to plants, so enough fertilizer, manure, and compost must be applied to soil to meet crop needs. This would seem to be an ideal situation in that applied phosphorus would be held in reserve for crop use. However, when soil particles containing the adsorbed phosphorus erode and end up in rivers, lakes, and oceans it can result in serious environmental problems. This Monograph chapter discusses how cultural practices affect phosphorus availability to crops and how losses from the landscape can be minimized using precision farming tools. These technologies include remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), variable rate application methods, and improved cultural practices to increase nutrient use efficiency and reduce erosion losses.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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