Christoph Kessel, Nutrition (Horticulture) Program Lead, OMAFRA
These have been in the news over the past weeks. Earlier this year The International Joint Commission released its report A Balanced Diet for Lake Erie. It notes the following three points that are important for Ontario agriculture:
- Agricultural operations are a major source of phosphorus loadings into Lake Erie.
- These loadings result primarily from fertilizer application and manure.
- The main loading into the lake occurs during spring snowmelt and heavy rainstorms.
A Phosphorus Primer: best management practices for reducing phosphorus from agricultural sources is a 38-page booklet outlining Best Management Practices (BMPs) for on-farm management to keep phosphorus in its place.
With many illustrations and photos, A Phosphorus Primer follows phosphorus in its various forms in soil and water and shows how it can travel in runoff, erosion, leaks and drainpipes.
The BMPs are described for managing:
- point sources, such as manure storages and dairy washwaters, focus on reduction, containment, and treatment.
- non-point sources, such as cropland runoff and erosion, include nutrient management planning, and soil, field and shoreline practices.