Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2013
Publication Date: 3/18/2013
Citation: Horvath, T., Bolster, C.H., Delgado, J.A. 2013. The implementation of the new Kentucky nitrogen and phosphorus index to reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution. Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute Symposium. Presentation.
Technical Abstract: A new study released in September 2011 by the USDA found that all of three best management practices (BMPs) for nitrogen in terms of application rate, time, and method, are done for only about a third of U.S. cropland (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR127/). Without BMPs, the potential for nitrogen losses and negative environmental impacts such as contaminated groundwater increases (e.g., http://groundwaternitrate.ucdavis.edu/). It is important to apply BMPs to reduce nitrogen losses, and the USDA recently published an article about new nitrogen tools that can help their users assess the effects of BMPs (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep11/nitrogen0911.htm). Another nutrient related to water quality is phosphorus, and the Phosphorous Index is another tool that can be used to assess the risk of losses for this nutrient (Sharpley et al. 2003). One tool that can help assess the risk of nitrogen losses to the environment is the new Nitrogen Index, which was just revised and released in 2012 for laptop and desktop computers (http://ars.usda.gov/npa/spnr/nitrogentools ). This tool was also released in 2012 as the first nitrogen loss risk assessment tool for mobile phones (the Nitrogen Index smartphone application, or “app”). The Nitrogen Index smartphone application was developed for Android™ devices and can be downloaded for free at the Google Play™ website (https://play.google.com ) using the search term, ‘Nitrogen Index’. Another nutrient related to water quality is phosphorus, and the Phosphorous Index is a tool that can be used to assess the risk of losses of this nutrient (Sharpley et al. 2003). In order to facilitate the assessment of the risk of losses of nitrogen and phosphorus to the environment we recently developed a new cutting-edge prototype of the Nitrogen and Phosphorus Index for the state of Kentucky. This tool was transferred to USDA-NRCS Kentucky in December 2012.