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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Sharpley, Andrew
item Kleinman, Peter
item Wright, Robert
item Daniel, Tommy
item Joern, Brad
item Parry, Roberta
item Sobecki, Terry

Submitted to: International Conference on Agricultural Effects on Ground and Surface Waters
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2002
Publication Date: 8/20/2002
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: 8/24/2016
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