Managing manure phosphorus to protect water quality
Land application rates for manure historically have been structured around protecting groundwater resources from overapplication of nitrogen in manure. However, high levels of phosphorus accumulation in some fields receiving manure and the decline in water quality in some Missouri lakes and streams have led to questions about this nitrogen-based strategy. Confined livestock operations are a major source of income for Missouri farmers. Livestock accounts for about 50 percent of farm cash receipts, with a value near $2.5 billion annually. Continued success of this industry requires managing manure in a way that protects water resources. This guide defines the unique aspects of managing manure as a phosphorus fertilizer source and provides practical information about management strategies to reduce phosphorus losses from your farm.