Innovative management of agricultural phosphorus to protect soil and water resources

A. N. Sharpley, Peter J A Kleinman, R. McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


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 P 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 potential 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1100
Number of pages30
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 25 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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