Cover Crops Look to be Changing Runoff Dynamics in Kansas

This spring and summer have been exciting months at the Kansas Agricultural Watershed (KAW) Field Research Facility. Nathan Nelson, Professor of Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management at Kansas State University, and his team have been busy measuring runoff and water quality to determine how different agricultural conditions impact phosphorus (P) loss.

In Kansas, fall broadcast P fertilizer application is common due its low-cost and the workload efficiency it provides. However, research shows spring injected P fertilizer application results in less P loss. That said, previous research looks almost exclusively at spring injected verses spring broadcast.

Nelson and his team set out to investigate fall broadcast, when there tends to be fewer rain events, and spring injection for changes P loss conditions. They are also examining how cover crops in combination with different fertilizer applications effect P loss and runoff. Their goal was to determine if different combinations of best management practices could positively impact environmental conditions.

For example, could cover crops in combination with fall broadcast reduce P loss and runoff? According to Nelson, the data doesn’t find this to be the case. Preliminary results show that fall broadcast continued to have more P loss than spring […]

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Cover Crops Look to be Changing Runoff Dynamics in Kansas
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Cover Crops Look to be Changing Runoff Dynamics in Kansas
Can cover crops with fall broadcast reduce P loss & runoff? Nelson: data doesn't show it. Prelim. results: fall broadcast still has more P loss than spring.
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NCRWN - North Central Regional Water Network
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