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Modelling P runoff losses from agricultural systems

Anderson, G., Chen, W., Bell, R. and Brennan, R. (2010) Modelling P runoff losses from agricultural systems. In: 2010 WA Agribusiness Crop Updates, 25 - 26 February, Perth, Western Australia.

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    Abstract

    When land was first cleared in the southwest of Australia, the soils were P deficient. This deficiency has been corrected by the application of P fertilisers to the extent that most current P fertilisers are applied at maintenance rates or rate which balances out the amount of P removal in grain. The current P fertiliser practices have been achieved by conducting soil test measurements for P and the use of P fertiliser decision support systems for making P recommendations. In general, this approach has resulted in the efficient use of P fertiliser. However, in some coastal agricultural areas of the region, over-use of P fertiliser has resulted in eutrophication of estuarine waters. Minimal tillage with crop residue retention (conservation farming) has been widely adopted in Western Australia. This practice has the potential to reduce soil bound P loss (Particulate P) but can result in an increase in dissolved P loss due to the surface concentration of nutrients. As a result, agriculture is under increasing pressure to develop management practices to minimise P loss. Currently P decision support systems for grain cropping do not have routines for making predictions of P runoff into the environment.

    The aim of this paper is to outline the key components that need to be considered when developing fertiliser decision support systems to predict P runoff based on an extensive review of the latest literature.

    Publication Type: Conference Paper
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering Science
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/8546
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