Phosphorus loss from different farming systems estimated from soil surface phosphorus balance

← Takaisin
Tekijä Ekholm, P.; Turtola, E.; Grönroos, J.; Seuri, P.; Ylivainio, K.
Sarja Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
DOI/ISBN-numero 10.1016/j.agee.2005.04.014
Päivämäärä 2005
Avainsanat agriculture, Eutrophication, Organic farming, Phosphorus balance
Sivut s. 266-278
Volyymi Vol 110, Issues 3-4
Kieli englanti
Saatavuus Phosphorus loss from different farming systems estimated from soil surface phosphorus balance

The phosphorus load originating from crop production and animal husbandry is a major contributor to the eutrophication of lakes, rivers and coastal waters. The P losses to surface waters may, however, differ drastically due to the diversity of agricultural production systems practised under contrasting environmental conditions. To assess the most problematic types of agriculture, we need information on the P load from different alternative farming practices. Such information cannot, however, be obtained solely from field runoff experiments, as the number of treatment combinations required to account for all relevant farming systems and environmental conditions far exceeds our research capabilities. To facilitate the comparison of P loads, we therefore need reasonably simple models. A key factor controlling the P load from agriculture is the past and present use of nutrients in fertilizers and manure in relation to a crop’s uptake, i.e. the soil-surface balance of P. Here, we present a simple empirical model that relates the P surplus (or deficit) in a farm to the edge-of-field losses of algal-available P. Based on long-term fertilizer trials, the model first estimates the change in soil-test P of top soil with the aid of the soil-surface balance of P. Soil-test P is then used to approximate the concentration of dissolved reactive P in surface runoff and drainage flow, as adjusted for different P application types. The loss of particulate P is obtained from typical erosion rates. The model can be applied in life-cycle analyses and in assessing future developments. We illustrate use of the model by calculating the loss of algal-available P from conventional and organic crop and dairy farms located on clay and fine sand soils.