Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Measurements of phosphorus loss from manures - NT1028

Description
The loss of soluble and particulate P from agricultural land receiving organic manures is a potential contributor to the eutrophication of inland waters. Losses arise as a result of both the accumulation of phosphorus in the soil on livestock holdings and following the application of manures to the soil surface. The main objective of this project is to quantify the risk of phosphorus losses following the land application of organic manures and to identify farm management practices likely to reduce losses.

The work addresses MAFF’s policy objectives of better quantifying P losses from agriculture to surface and groundwaters, and the sources and routes of these losses, which will enable the UK to fulfil its commitments to reducing nutrient inputs to the environment under a number of international agreements; the second North Sea Conference 1987, the Paris Commission (PARCOM) 1988 and the EU Fifth Environmental Action Programme 1993.
Objective
Study 1 objectives

1. Establish hydrologically isolated plots on a continuous maize field in South-West England.

2. Evaluate the effect of rate and timing of manure application on the amounts and forms of phosphorus loss in surface run-off from maize fields receiving livestock manures.

3. Provide guidance on manure management practices to limit phosphorus losses from fields in maize under high rainfall.

Study 2 objectives

4. Establish hydrologically isolated drainage plots at ADAS Rosemaund.

5. Evaluate the effect of slurry application timing and rate on the amounts and forms of phosphorus loss in surface run-off and drainflow from grassland receiving cow slurry.

6. Provide guidance on slurry management practices to limit phosphorus losses from grassland under moderate rainfall.

Study 3 objectives:

7. Establish hydrologically isolated drainage plots at ADAS Boxworth.

8. Evaluate the effect of slurry application timing and cultivation practices on the amounts and forms of phosphorus loss in drainage water from drained arable clay land receiving pig slurry.

9. Provide guidance on slurry management practices to limit phosphorus losses from drained arable clay soils.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 2003

Cost: £575,975
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Environmental Protection              
Phosphorus              
Pollution              
Water Pollution              
Fields of Study
Fertilisers and Nitrate Pollution