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A quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool for agricultural fields

White, Michael J., Storm, Daniel E., Busteed, Philip R., Smolen, Michael D., Zhang, Hailin, Fox, Garey, A.
Environmental modelling & software with environment data news 2010 v.25 no.10 pp. 1121
Soil and Water Assessment Tool model, hydrologic models, phosphorus, losses from soil, soil erosion, sediment yield, agricultural runoff, agricultural land, algorithms, model validation, computer software, Southeastern United States, Oklahoma
In the United States, government sponsored conservation programs are under increasing pressure to quantify the environmental benefits of practices they subsidize. To meet this objective, conservation planners need tools to accurately predict phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural lands. Existing P export coefficient based tools are easy to use, but do not adequately account for local conditions. Hydrologic and water quality models are more accurate, but are prohibitively complex for conservation planners to use. Pasture Phosphorus Management (PPM) Plus was developed as a user-friendly P and sediment loss prediction tool based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a popular comprehensive hydrologic and water quality model. PPM Plus is applicable under a wide variety of management options and conservation practices and simple enough for use by conservation planners. SWAT hydrologic components were calibrated to allow application anywhere in the State of Oklahoma. The SWAT model was modified to include soil P algorithm updates and improved representation of conservation practices. This tool was successfully validated using 286 field years of measured data from the southern United States. PPM Plus allows the development of more effective conservation plans by allowing planners to evaluate pollutant losses resulting from a particular management strategy prior to implementation.