Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research

Fertilisers and phosphorus loss from productive grazing systems

David M. Nash and David J. Halliwell

Australian Journal of Soil Research 37(3) 403 - 430
Published: 1999


This paper reviews phosphorus loss from productive high rainfall grazing systems. In particular it describes the processes occurring when phosphatic fertilisers are added to soil, the different pathways through which fertiliser and other nutrient sources may contribute to phosphorus losses, and an evaluation of the management strategies aimed at minimising phosphorus loss.

It is now generally accepted that soil is not an endless sink for phosphorus uptake and that at the landscape scale the highest concentrations of phosphorus loss occur in surface runoff, followed by macropore flow and vertical matrix flow. However, loads of phosphorus lost through these pathways are unknown. The development of an understanding of the transport mechanisms and phosphorus species being transported is fundamental to developing management strategies that are effective in decreasing phosphorus losses from grazing systems.

© CSIRO 1999

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