State phosphorus indices (PIs) are being evaluated across the United States due to variability in phosphorus (P) management recommendations and questions about the lack of water quality improvement in some watersheds. Nutrient management planners in New York (NY) and Pennsylvania (PA) were surveyed via two separate but related questionnaires to document perspectives on the current NY-PI and PA-PI and to obtain recommendations for improvements. Many planners were content with the current versions of the PIs but felt improvements could be made to more strongly discourage application of manure under conditions of high P loss potential and better promote certain best management practices. The NY planners felt that the NY-PI should discourage manure application during winter and to fields near streams, and should more strongly promote manure incorporation or injection, establishment of cover crops, ground coverage with crop residues, and implementation of setbacks and vegetated buffers. Similarly, the PA planners felt that the PA-PI should more strongly discourage manure application to fields with insufficient ground cover, near subsurface drainage and surface inlets, and during winter. In addition, the PA planners said the PA-PI should more strongly encourage soil conservation practices such as no-till, use of cover crops, and vegetated buffers. Results of the survey suggest common experiences and viewpoints among planners in NY and PA, resulting in a valuable on-the-ground assessment of the PIs as a nutrient management planning tool in both states, and the potential for development of a single, physiographic region PI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Water Science and Technology
- Soil Science
- Nature and Landscape Conservation