Evaluating Soil Phosphorus Dynamics over Time
Lucas, Emileigh Rosso
Coale, Frank J
MetadataShow full item record
Agricultural nutrient management became mandatory in Maryland (MD) due to water quality concerns. Phosphorus (P) management is complex due to the stability of P in the soil, nutrient mass imbalance, and “legacy” P. To explore how potential P application bans impact historically manured fields, agronomic and environmental soil tests were conducted on plots treated with five manure-P rates, then no P applications, spanning 15 years. Mehlich-3 extractable P (M3P) declined slowly and then generally did not change during the last six years. Phosphorus saturation declined slowly or not significantly. Excessive P soils had sufficient P for crop growth in solution. Phosphorus saturation and M3P were compared in fifty sites across MD pre- and post- nutrient management planning. Results showed an increase in P concentration of Maryland agricultural fields. This response was logical, as better management would increase below-optimum P concentrations, and the regulations were not designed to draw down P.