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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 1, p. 38-46
    Received: Aug 29, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): calhoun.2@osu.edu
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Relationships among Plant Available Phosphorus, Fertilizer Sales, and Water Quality in Northwestern Ohio

  1. Frank G. Calhoun *,
  2. Jerry M. Bigham and
  3. Brian K. Slater
  1. School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691-4096


Soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) in northwestern Ohio river water has declined over the past 20 yr in response to decreased applications of fertilizer P. Our objective was to evaluate changes in soluble P (Bray-1 P) levels in the soil over time as influenced by fertilizer P management, cultivation practice, soil properties, and landscape factors. Because soil is the intermediary between added P and SRP measured in river water, we examined the relationship between fertilizer P, soluble soil P, and SRP. Using historical soil survey sample sites as a baseline for original soluble P concentrations (Por), we resampled Ap horizons to establish current levels of soluble P (Pcu). The Por baseline extended from 1953–1982 and Pcu from 1996–1998. Thirty percent of the Pcu values and 17% of the Por values were ≥40 mg kg−1 Log-transformed means for Pcu were significantly higher than for Por The principal determining factors for Por were physiography, soil texture, and soil series. Current P is affected by present tillage practice and drainage class. Change in soluble P in the soil is not as responsive to fertilizer P sales as is SRP in river water. This suggests that as fertilizer P sales decline, a declining percentage of P added as fertilizer is annually dissolved and transported into the drainage system. Soluble P in soil is governed by a combination of fertilizer and tillage management, soil properties, and landscape factors interacting over time.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:38–46.