Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2004
Publication Date: 3/20/2005
Citation: Beegle, D.B., Weld, J.L., Gburek, W.J., Kleinman, P.J., Sharpley, A.N. 2005. The Pennsylvania Phosphorus Index Version 1: User Dcumentation. Publications Distribution Center, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: The P Index is a field evaluation tool developed to identify areas that have a high vulnerability or risk of phosphorus loss to surface water bodies. The Pennsylvania Phosphorus Index (P Index) was developed by scientists at the USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit at University Park, PA and Penn State University College of Agricultural Sciences. It is the outcome of a state and regional effort as part of an international research and development endeavor to produce a management approach that protects water quality from phosphorus pollution and enables sustainable, economic animal agricultural production. In 2003, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)in Pennsylvania implemented the 590 Standard for Nutrient Management, consistent with the NRCS national standard for nutrient management. This national standard requires that farmers receiving financial or technical assistance from USDA have nutrient management plants that address both N and P. In 2004, the Pennsylvania State Conservation Commission (SCC) is proposing revised regulations for the Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Act (Act 6). Also, in May 2004 the SCC adopted an interim policy that requires all nutrient management plans to include a P component. All of these programs currently or will require that P be included in nutrient management planning. The approach that is used in all of these programs in Pennsylvania is the P Index. To support the implementation and field use of the P Index, a P Index user's manual documenting the technical basis for the P Index factors and the specific guidelines for field evaluation has been developed and distributed to field staff. The documentation also includes sample nutrient management plans with an integrated P Index component and guidance for using the Excel spreadsheet version of the P Index.