|The 4 Rs of phosphorus|
|Written by Staff Reports|
|Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:40 PM|
The following article was written by Ed Lentz, Hancock County Extension Educator and edited by Jim Hoorman.
In agriculture, P is required to produce high yielding crops. Phosphorus not used by the crop is generally tied up or trapped by the soil. This tie up generally minimized P loss unless soil leaves the field by water or wind erosion. Farmers have started using reduced tillage and/or cover crops to reduce soil erosion. However, P now remains on or near the surface after application which may result in losses with heavy rain events. About 90 percent of most P runoff occurs during 10 percent of the most intense rainfall events and about 80 percent of the P comes from only 20 percent of the land (Sharpley, 2013). In 2011, heavy spring rains delayed planting until early June and may have contributed to the algae problems.
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