The objective of this study was to examine Phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural land under a range of conditions, to investigate the effects of applying various rates of cattle slurry on the P loss to drainage water under newly established Miscanthusxgiganteus grass. The P concentration in drainage water was assessed for two years 2008 and 2009. The role of P from agricultural sources in the pollution (non-point source) of surface waters has been an environmental issue for decades because of the recognized contribution of P to the eutrophication (increase in the concentration of nutrients) of surface waters. Research to-date has concentrated mainly on the P losses by surface erosion and runoff, due to the relative immobility of P in soils. Consequently, P leaching and losses via subsurface runoff have rarely been considered important pathways for the movement of agricultural P to surface waters. However, there are situations where, environmentally significant exports of P in agricultural drainage has occurred (e.g., high organic matter soils or soils with high soil P concentrations). In this study, the crop received either no fertilizer (0-unfertilized control) or an annual application of 6, 12 or 18 kg P ha-1. Soil water solution samples were collected fortnightly from porous ceramic cup samplers. The P levels in these soil water samples were determined and monitored. Soil water phosphorus concentrations were found in the range of 4.3-6.5 in 2008 and in 2009 levels of, 8.8, 8.2, 8.1 and 9.4 mg L-1 were recorded for 0, 6, 12 and 18 kg P ha-1, respectively. However, there was no significant difference between treatments. Nutrient losses have a number of environmental consequences. N and P losses in particular can negatively affect the quality of soils, groundwater, surface water and the atmosphere; thus, contributing to eutrophication, toxic algal blooms and a general deterioration of water quality.
E.M. Curley, M.G. O`Flynn and K.P. McDonnell, 2010. Phosphorus Loss in Subsurface Flow from Agricultural Lands after Manure Application to Miscanthus x giganteus-Impacts on Groundwater Quality. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 5: 268-275.