A Review of New Zealand Research Measuring Phosphorus in Runoff from Pasture
- Allan G. Gillingham * and
- Bruce S. Thorrold
New Zealand pastoral farm land is intensively grazed and receives predominantly single superphosphate fertilizer. Resource managers and policymakers are concerned about the effects of such land use on P enrichment of waterways and lakes. This paper reviews New Zealand research on the effects of agricultural land use on P losses in water runoff and highlights priorities for management and future research. Diffuse agricultural sources contribute about 91% of total P entering fresh waters annually, with 0.11 to 1.67 kg P ha−1 yr−1 being removed, mostly in particulate forms. Despite a number of studies showing good site-specific correlation, no widely applicable soil test method for estimating runoff dissolved P concentration has been found. The effects of (i) fertilizer application in increasing surface runoff P concentrations (ii) riparian areas in both source and control roles, and (iii) subsurface drainage, in reducing losses of P in surface runoff from pasture land, are reported. A catchment scale simulation model, Basin New Zealand (BNZ), for intensively grazed pastures, has been produced based on CREAMS (chemicals, runoff, and erosion from agricultural management systems). This model adequately predicts P loss at the field scale but is less reliable at the catchment scale, which indicates differences in predominant P and sediment sources at the two scales. Corrective management has alleviated eutrophication problems in some lakes and waterways; however better information is yet required to understand, model, and manage the more insidious losses of P to waterways from New Zealand farm land.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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