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Accounting for the risks of phosphorus losses through tile drains in a phosphorus index

Reid, D.K., Ball, B., Zhang, T.Q. (2012). Accounting for the risks of phosphorus losses through tile drains in a phosphorus index, 41(6), 1720-1729. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2012.0238

Abstract

Tile drainage systems have been identified as a significant conduit for phosphorus (P) losses to surface water, but P indices do not currently account for this transport pathway in a meaningful way. Several P indices mention tile drains, but most account for either the reduction in surface runoffor the enhanced transport through tiles rather than both simultaneously. A summary of the current state of how tile drains are accounted for within P indices is provided, and the challenges inpredicting the risk of P losses through tile drains that are relative to actual losses are discussed. A framework for a component P Index is described, along with a proposal to incorporate predictions of losses through tile drains as a component within this framework. Options for calibrating and testing this component are discussed. © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

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