“Legacy phosphorous” changing thoughts on nutrient loss – Voice Of Muscatine

“Legacy phosphorous” changing thoughts on nutrient loss

New research funded by the Illinois Nutrient Research Education Council (N-REC) is finding “legacy phosphorus” is playing a larger role in nutrient loss than previously thought.

Research manager Dr. Shani Golovay, says…

“Do we have these hotspots of legacy phosphorus that we can think about mitigating or,” she says, “think about ‘Hey let’s not put phosphorus on that spot in the field because it has plenty because that’s where the hog farm used to be 75 years ago?’”

She tells Brownfield that “legacy phosphorus” can then potentially move downstream…

“The thinking was if you had a phosphorus molecule that it was always attached to a soil molecule.”  She says, “Sometimes, after a long time, you will get something called dissolved reactive phosphorus, which is phosphorus not attached to a soil molecule.”

Lake, river, and stream beds can also host “legacy phosphorus.”  Golovay says that also has an impact on nutrient management…

Really, a paradigm shift in phosphorus research,” she says, “in terms of how do we think about phosphorus and can we separate that phosphorus molecule out and re-test it?”

N-REC is partnering with the University of Illinois and others on the research. 

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