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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 5, p. 1814-1821
    Received: Jan 30, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): bturner@ifas.ufl.edu
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Phosphorus in Surface Runoff from Calcareous Arable Soils of the Semiarid Western United States

  1. Benjamin L. Turner *ab,
  2. Mary A. Kaya and
  3. Dale T. Westermanna
  1. a USDA-ARS, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory, 3793 N. 3600 E., Kimberly, ID 83301
    b Current address: Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida, 106 Newell Hall, P.O. Box 110510, Gainesville, FL 32611


Management strategies that minimize P transfer from agricultural land to water bodies are based on relationships between P concentrations in soil and runoff. This study evaluated such relationships for surface runoff generated by simulated sprinkler irrigation onto calcareous arable soils of the semiarid western United States. Irrigation was applied at 70 mm h−1 to plots on four soils containing a wide range of extractable P concentrations. Two irrigation events were conducted on each plot, first onto dry soil and then after 24 h onto wet soil. Particulate P (>0.45 μm) was the dominant fraction in surface runoff from all soils and was strongly correlated with suspended sediment concentration. For individual soil types, filterable reactive P (<0.45 μm) concentrations were strongly correlated with all soil-test P methods, including environmental tests involving extraction with water (1:10 and 1:200 soil to solution ratio), 0.01 M CaCl2, and iron strips. However, only the Olsen-P agronomic soil-test procedure gave models that were not significantly different among soils. Soil chemical differences, including lower CaCO3 and water-extractable Ca, higher water-extractable Fe, and higher pH, appeared to account for differences in filterable reactive P concentrations in runoff from soils with similar extractable P concentrations. It may therefore be possible to use a single agronomic test to predict filterable reactive P concentrations in surface runoff from calcareous soils, but inherent dangers exist in assuming a consistent response, even for one soil within a single field.

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Copyright © 2004. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyASA, CSSA, SSSA