Submitted to: USDA/EPA Livestock Environmental Stewardship Handbook
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2000
Publication Date: 5/20/2001
Citation: Sharpley, A.N., Sheffield, R. 2001. Phosphorus management: bridging the interface between agriculture and environment. USDA/EPA Livestock Environmental Stewardship Handbook. 42 p. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Agriculture, particularly livestock agriculture, is receiving increasing public scrutiny due to non-point source phosphorus (P) pollution and eutrophication. Much of today's situation may be attributed to system level trends in specialization and intensification that result in excess P entering livestock farms. Balancing P at the farm gate represents a necessary step for long-term soil and water quality protection. Remedial management combines source and transport control that confront critical areas of P export in surface and subsurface runoff from agricultural landscapes. Source management seeks to immobilize P in the environment through such strategies as reducing soluble P in manure, targeting P application to soils with high retention capacities, and managing soil P. Transport controls employ an understanding of loss or transfer mechanisms to avoid P application on areas with a high transport potential. Also, the epotential for P transport can be reduced by implementation of conservation practices such as reduced tillage, terracing, and stream buffers. However, implementation of agricultural management strategies that minimize P export must consider the cost effectiveness of alternative measures, as low practice adoption may limit or impede water quality benefits.