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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Surface Water Quality

Management Practice Effects on Phosphorus Losses in Runoff in Corn Production Systems


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 5, p. 1822-1828
    Received: Aug 14, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): lgbundy@facstaff.wisc.edu
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  1. L. G. Bundy *a,
  2. T. W. Andraskia and
  3. J. M. Powellb
  1. a Dep. of Soil Science, 1525 Observatory Dr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706-1299
    b USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, 1925 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706


Phosphorus losses in runoff from cropland can contribute to nonpoint-source pollution of surface waters. Management practices in corn (Zea mays L.) production systems may influence P losses. Field experiments with treatments including differing soil test P levels, tillage and manure application combinations, and manure and biosolids application histories were used to assess these management practice effects on P losses. Runoff from simulated rainfall (76 mm h−1) was collected from 0.83-m2 areas for 1 h after rainfall initiation and analyzed for dissolved reactive P (DRP), bioavailable P, total P (TP), and sediment. In no-till corn, both DRP concentration and load increased as Bray P1 soil test (STP) increased from 8 to 62 mg kg−1 A 5-yr history of manure or biosolids application greatly increased STP and DRP concentrations in runoff. The 5-yr manure treatment had higher DRP concentration but lower DRP load than the 5-yr biosolids treatment, probably due to residue accumulation and lower runoff in the manure treatment. Studies of tillage and manure application effects on P losses showed that tillage to incorporate manure generally lowered runoff DRP concentration but increased TP concentration and loads due to increased sediment loss. Management practices have a major influence on P losses in runoff in corn production systems that may overshadow the effects of STP alone. Results from this work, showing that some practices may have opposite effects on DRP vs. TP losses, emphasize the need to design management recommendations to minimize losses of those P forms with the greatest pollution potential.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:1822–1828.