Conservation Action Project trialing zero P

A voluntary group of farmers in northwest Ohio is studying how crops utilize legacy phosphorus.

Conservation Action Project coordinator Alan Sundermeier tells Brownfield growers are experimenting with how much phosphorus crops really need.

“If you have soils like we have here that have the background of nutrients already established in the soil, you don’t necessarily need to continue adding more phosphorus fertilizer,” he explains. “You can utilize the phosphorus that’s already available in your soil and still maintain your yields.”

He says the project is researching how baseline phosphorus levels are impacted by management practices and crop rotations.

“Some with cover crops, some no-till, some conventional,” he says. “We’re looking at all these kinds of aspects into this study and seeing if the healthier soils can rejuvenate themselves and maybe establish the same baseline without any additional phosphorus.”

Sundermeier says farmers can also benefit economically from reduced applications.

The Conservation Action Project works across the Maumee Watershed in Ohio to improve soil and water quality through conservation measures.

AUDIO: Alan Sundermeier, Conservation Action Project

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