Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bioavailable phosphorus dynamics in agricultural soils and effects on water quality

Published source details

Sharpley A.N., Robinson J. & Smith S.J. (1995) Bioavailable phosphorus dynamics in agricultural soils and effects on water quality. Geoderma, 67, 1-15


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Change tillage practices Soil Fertility

A site comparison study in 1981-1982 on clay-, silt- and sandy-loam and loam soils in Oklahoma and Texas, USA (Sharpley et al. 1995) found that total phosphorus loss was 93% lower from no-till soil than conventionally tilled soil. In no-till soil, 73% of the phosphorus was bioavailable (the point at which it becomes available for use after application) compared with 28% in conventionally tilled soil. At Bushland, the wheat Tiricum aestivum – sorghum Sorghum bicolor fallow rotation was under reduced tillage (stubble mulch tillage). At El Reno and Woodward, wheat was under conventional tillage/ploughing (chisel, mouldboard and discing). At Fort Cobb, the peanut Arachis hypogaea – sorghum rotation was under conventional tillage/ploughing (chisel, mouldboard, harrowing and discing). At each unfertilized and fertilized watershed, four soil samples were collected at monthly intervals. Runoff, total, organic and inorganic phosphorus were measured.