Regional Differences in Phosphorus Budgets in Intensive Soybean Agriculture Journal Article

Authors: Riskin, Shelby H.; Porder, Stephen; Schipanski, Meagan E.; Bennett, Elena M.; Neill, Christopher
Article Title: Regional Differences in Phosphorus Budgets in Intensive Soybean Agriculture
Abstract: Fertilizer-intensive agriculture has been integral to increasing food production over the past half century but has been accompanied by environmental costs. We use case studies of phosphorus fertilizer use in the world#39;s most productive soybean-growing regions, Iowa (United States), Mato Grosso (Brazil), and Buenos Aires (Argentina), to examine influences of management and soil type on agriculture#39;s most prevalent phosphorus-related environmental consequences: eutrophication and consumption of Earth#39;s finite phosphorus reserves. With increasing phosphorus inputs, achieving high yields on tropical soils with high phosphorus-binding capacity is becoming more common. This system has low eutrophication risks but increases demands on phosphorus supplies. In contrast, production in traditional breadbaskets, on soils with lower phosphorus-binding capacities, is being sustained with decreasing phosphorus inputs. However, in these regions, historical overuse of phosphorus may mean continued eutrophication risk even as pressures on phosphorus reserves diminish. We focus here on soybean production but illustrate how achieving sustainable agriculture involves an intricate optimization of local, regional, and global considerations.
Journal Title: Bioscience
Volume: 63
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0006-3568
Publisher: American Institute of Biological Sciences  
Publication Place: WASHINGTON; 1444 EYE ST, NW, STE 200, WASHINGTON, DC 20005 USA
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 49
End Page: 54
Notes: PT: J; TC: 0; UT: WOS:000314144300010
Woods Hole Authors
  1. Christopher Neill
    85 Neill
  2. Shelby Riskin
    3 Riskin