What can be done to reduce
the risk of P losses?
The final P Index Score is influenced by our management of fields. Take
another look at the factors used to determine the risk of P loss from a field.
What can be done in the way we manage our crops, fertilizers, manures, etc.
to reduce our risk of P loss?
- Reduce the application rate of manure/fertilizer P.
- Change the timing of manure/fertilizer applications to periods of the
year will lower runoff risk.
- Till manure/fertilizer into the soil more quickly after application.
- Employ soil conservation measures, like strip cropping, conservation
tillage, cover crops, etc. reduce soil erosion.
- Eliminate gully erosion by turning concentrated flows into grass waterways.
- Increase the flow distance to the stream by building filter areas or
simply re-defining the field boundary to include a strip near the stream
that receives no additions of P through manure and/or fertilizer.
- What else?
Many planners will evaluate a field with the P Index and, if it rates in
the High or Very High risk category, recommend such shifts in management
to lower the risk into the Low or Medium category. This often leads to more
even application of manure and fertilizer P across the farm, while allowing
limited recycling of manure nutrients on the field that originally scored
High or Very High.