Edited by:

Andrew Sharpley

US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory

Curtin Road, Universi ty Park, PA 16802-3702


Sponsored by:

The Chesapeake Bay Programís

Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee

645 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, MD 21037


Andrew Sharpley


Impact of Phosphorus on the Chesapeake Bay

Bill Matuszeski
Phosphorus and the Chesapeake Bay, 3

Alan Taylor and Harry Pionke
Inputs of Phosphorus to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, 7

Walter Boynton
Impact of Nutrient Inflows on Chesapeake Bay, 23


Sources and Transport of Agricultural Phosphorus Within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Frank Coale
Phosphorus Dynamics in Soils of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: A Primer, 43

Tom Sims
The Role of Soil Testing for Environmental Risk Assessment, 57

Bil Gburek, Andrew Sharpley, and Gordon Folmar
Critical Areas of Phosphorus Export from Agricultural Watersheds, 83


Transfer of Phosphorus from the Farm to the Bay Scale

Louise Heathwaite, Phil Haygarth, and Rachael Dils
Pathways of Phosphorus Transport, 107

Dave Correll, Thomas Jordan, and Donald Weller
Transfer of Phosphorus from the Farm to the Chesapeake Bay, 131


Development of Integrated Nutrient Management Planning in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Les Lanyon
Nutrient Management: Regional Issues Affecting the Chesapeake Bay, 145

Doug Beegle
Integrating Phosphorus and Nitrogen Management, 159

Patricia Steinhilber and Richard Weismiller
On-Farm Management Options for Controlling Phosphorus Inputs to the Chesapeake Bay, 169


Future Trends for Phosphorus Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Jerry Hostetter, David Brubaker, William Carmean, and Tarp Garrett
Perspectives of Chesapeake Bay Users, 181


Concerns and Recommendations, 187

Soil P Testing and Environmental Risk Assessment

Ann Wolf and Andrew Sharpley

Nutrient Management Planning

Leon Ressler

Best Management Plan Development and Implementation

Tony Esser

Strategic Initiatives for Managing Phosphorus

Les Lanyon


Andrew Sharpley
Concluding Remarks: Future Strategies to Meet the Agricultural and Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century, 199

Poster Abstracts, 203

Index, 219


Andrew Sharpley

In April 1998, the Chesapeake Bay Programís Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) held a Conference to examine issues related to agricultural phosphorus (P) and water quality with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This book presents the invited papers and posters given at the Conference, along with the views of several Bay farmers, key Bay resource users, and recommendations from the Conference workgroups; Soil Phosphorus Testing for Environmental Risk Assessment, Nutrient Management Planning, and Best Management Planning Development and Implementation. The objectives of the Conference and subject of this book are to evaluate the following:

1. Impact of Phosphorus on the Chesapeake Bay - Determine the loading of P to agricultural lands in the Bay watershed, their spatial and seasonal distribution, and where the main areas of impact in the Bay are and how they are affected by the type, amount, timing, and location of P flows in the region.

2. Sources and Transport of Agricultural Phosphorus Within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - Identify and evaluate critical source areas and processes controlling the export of P from agricultural soils in the watershed to the Bay itself. Discuss procedures and protocols for delineating critical source areas of P over a range of scales (farm field to subwatershed) within a watershed or basin.

3. Transfer of Phosphorus from the Farm to the Chesapeake Bay Scale - Identify and delineate what processes control the critical sources and pathways of P export over a range of scales in the Bay Watershed. Determine the effects of river channel, impoundment and river processes on P transfers, as one scales up transport processes from the farm to a basin scale.

4. Development of Integrated Nutrient Management Planning in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - Discuss how nutrient management plans can be developed for P as well as nitrogen (N) in efforts to maintain farm profitability and the quality of water resources in the Bay Watershed, as well as other regions, particularly where animal and manure production is localized.

5. Future Trends for Phosphorus Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - Discuss what can be done with current technology to minimize agricultural P losses and Bay inputs and prioritize future trends for P management in the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds.

From the authors area of expertise or experience, each addressed the questions; what do we know, what do we still need to know, where are there major gaps in our knowledge, and how does the information relate to P management strategies in the Bay Watershed in particular, and other areas of the U.S. in general? As a result, this series of papers provides a unique collation of information of regional, national, and international significance and provides prioritized P management options for not only the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, but other watersheds around the world.



Andrew Sharpley is a Soil Scientist at the USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory, University Park, PA. Andrewís research has investigated the cycling of phosphorus in soil-plant-water systems in relation to soil productivity and water quality and includes the management of fertilizers, crop residues, and animal manure. He has developed models that simulate soil chemical processes and transport of phosphorus in runoff. Currently, Andrew is leading research to develop ways of identifying agricultural fields that are vulnerable to phosphorus loss in runoff, so that more flexible and effective best management practices can be targeted.

Doug Beegle is a Professor of Agronomy and extension soil fertility specialist in the Department of Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Dougís program has focused on extension programs and applied research in soil fertility, nutrient management, soil testing, and related topics. He has worked extensively with farmers, county agents, ag industry, public agencies, and farm organizations to develop and conduct educational programs to help farmers manage nutrients for maximum agronomic and economic benefit with minimum environmental impact.

Walter R. Boynton is a Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, MD. Walterís research interests involve estuarine ecology with emphasis on nutrient and organic matter processes; seagrass ecology; ecosystem modeling and analysis; materials budget; food web dynamics; and environmental education.

Dave Brubaker is employed at Hershey Ag in Marietta, PA. This company raises hogs in Central Pennsylvania. He is responsible for overseeing the nutrient management implementation for the companyís farms.

Bill Carmean, Snow Hill, MD, is a poultry and grain crop farmer who has been involved in nutrient management issues for several years.

Frank Coale is Associate Professor of Agronomy and Nutrient Management Specialist, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Frank has a research and extension education appointment with statewide responsibilities for soil fertility and nutrient management for crop production and environmental protection.

David Correll has been a Chemist and Ecologist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, for the last 35 years. Davidís research has focused on the chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and ecology of phosphorus. His current research includes a major study of nutrient sources on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and how their fluxes are affected by land use, geology, and inter-annual variations in weather.

Rachael Dils is the senior nutrients scientist at the Environment Agency, UK. Rachael's research interests include: pathways and forms of phosphorus transport in grassland soils, scaling issues and the bio-availability of phosphorus fractions. Currently Rachael is coordinating the Environment Agency's strategy to manage aquatic eutrophication, which involves catchment-based action within the context of a national framework.

Tony Esser has just assumed the responsibility as National Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Manager for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Headquarters in Washington, DC. Prior to this Tony was Water Quality Specialist and EQIP Program Coordinator for NRCS in New York State. In NY Tony worked on implementation of Confined Animal Feeding Operation and Animal Feeding Operation strategies and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning. Tony has been a District Conservationist, Resource Conservation and Development Project Coordinator and Water Quality liaison with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Gordon J. Folmar has been a hydrologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory, University Park, PA for the past 10 years. Over that time he has been involved in research projects dealing with numerical simulation of subsurface flow and contaminant transport in fractured aquifers, near-stream hydrology, and ground water recharge.

Turp Garrett is the Worcester County Agricultural Extension Agent, Snow Hill, MD. Worcester Co. is located on the southern Delmarva Peninsular, where there is a very concentrated area of poultry broilers production, the epicenter of phosphorus and water quality concerns.

Bil J. Gburek has been a Hydrologist at the USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory, University Park, PA, for the past 27 years. His current research interests include: hydrology of the near-stream environment as related to storm runoff production and phosphorous loss from the watershed, ground water recharge, numerical simulation of subsurface flow and transport in fractured aquifers, and hydrology/water quality interactions at the watershed scale.

Philip Haygarth is a Research Scientist in the Soil Science Group at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Devon, UK. He works with a team of researchers trying to understand phosphorus transfer from soil to water. Philip's approach is multidisciplinary, linking soil chemistry with soil biology and soil hydrology, underpinned with an interest in analytical techniques.

Louise Heathwaite is Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Sheffield, UK. Louise has been researching the impact of nutrient export from agricultural land on surface water quality for the past 15 years. Her main focus is phosphorus and nitrogen transport in hydrological pathways linking land to stream. In the UK, she is presently leading a major research program with the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER) to examine colloidal organic matter and phosphorus transfer in grassland hydrological pathways. Currently, Louise is a Fulbright Scholar on sabbatical from the University of Sheffield and is working with Andrew Sharpley at the USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory.

Jerry Hostetter is owner and president of Hostetter Management Company (HMC). HMC is a swine production and management company currently managing approximately 13,000 sows and 50 finisher barns. He is responsible to see that each farm resubmits their manure management plan in accordance to the PA Act 6 requirements. Jerry is also very active in supporting agricultural growth and development throughout Pennsylvania.

Thomas Jordan is a chemical ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD. Tom's research investigates the flow of nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, through ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and estuaries. His current projects focus on the factors that control denitrification in wetlands and discharges of nutrients from watersheds.

Les Lanyon is a Professor of Soil Fertility in research and extension, Department of Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Since 1977, he has been at Penn State working on the soil fertility of forage crops, utilization of animal wastes in crop production systems, and nutrient management.

William Matuszeski has been Director of EPAís Chesapeake Bay Program Office since November of 1991. As such, he is Chairman of the Implementation Committee for the Bay Program, a cooperative restoration effort by the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission representing the three state legislatures; and EPA as the representative of the Federal Government. The Bay Program is the premier watershed restoration effort in the United States, and is recognized worldwide for its clear goals, measurable achievements, comprehensive approach to such complex problems as air deposition and population growth, and use of computer models to test management options. The Program reflects the increasing importance EPA is placing in the integration of all its programs as they apply to critically important water bodies such as the Chesapeake Bay.

Harry B. Pionke is Research Leader of the USDA-ARS, Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Laboratory, University Park, PA. The mission of the laboratory is to conduct research leading to the development of land, water, plant and animal management systems, which ensure the profitability and sustainability of northeastern grazing and cropping enterprises while maintaining the quality of ground and surface waters. Harryís personal research is to determine land source areas and hydrologic origins of stream flow and associated nutrient and pesticide loads using isotopically and geochemically-based methods.

Leon Ressler is an extension agent with Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lancaster PA. Leon's educational programming includes the areas of nutrient management, on-farm composting, water quality, water rights, odor control and manure marketing. Leon's work with manure marketing promotes redistribution of surplus manure nutrients to other agricultural areas by maintaining lists of potential suppliers and potential receivers. Recently Leon worked with the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State to evaluate bio-filters, floating straw covers on lagoons and dust control devices for odor control on swine farms.

Tom Sims is Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE. In 1997, he was appointed Director of the Delaware Water Resources Center where he now leads the research and educational efforts of the College of Agricultural Sciences in nutrient management and water quality, interacting with all key agencies in Delaware and the mid-Atlantic region. Tomís research has focused on the development and implementation of environmentally sound soil management programs for production agriculture and for industries and municipalities with significant waste management problems. He has worked extensively with the poultry industry and production agriculture to develop nitrogen and phosphorus management programs that maximize crop yields while minimizing the environmental impact of these nutrients on ground and surface waters.

Trish M. Steinhilber is a Professor with the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Since June of 1993, Trish has served as Coordinator of the Nutrient Management Program for the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, overseeing all phases of BMP development and implementation in the state.

Alan Taylor was Chief of the USDA-ARS, Soil Nitrogen and Environmental Chemicals Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, with leadership responsibilities for projects on the chemistry of strontium and heavy metals in soils, the environmental chemistry of pesticides agricultural phosphorus, and the fate of nitrogen in soils. After Alan retired in 1983, he became Consultant to the Director of the University of Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station and is currently Consultant to the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Research Consortium, Edgewater, MD. He is responsible for technical liaison between the Consortium and the Chesapeake Bay Program of the EPA and other governmental and public interest groups working of the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Donald E. Weller is a Quantitative Ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. He is interested in ecosystem and landscape theory, ecological modeling, and spatial analysis with geographic information systems and remote sensing. Don's current research applies these methods to understanding the relationships of nutrient discharge to watershed geography and to modeling nutrient transport and cycling.

Richard Weismiller is a Professor and Chairman, Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland College Park, Maryland. He also serves as the State Extension Specialist in soil and water resource management. Richard's formal training was in soil chemistry and mineralogy. He is responsible for the development and presentation of information and educational materials in the areas of agriculture soil management, soil and water conservation and non-point source pollution. His teaching is in the areas of soil and water pollution and remote sensing of agriculture and natural resources.

Ann Wolf has been Director of the Agricultural Analytical Services, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA since 1991, when the soil testing, plant analysis and environmental testing programs were merged into one operation. Ann is involved in national efforts to standardize analytical methods for testing agricultural materials as well as to improve and document the quality of the analytical results. She helped initiate and develop the North American Proficiency Testing Program for agricultural laboratories which will be implemented by the Soil Science Society of America in 1999 and is currently President of the Soil and Plant Analysis Council.