Regional differences in phosphorus budgets in intensive soybean agriculture
Riskin, Shelby H.
Schipanski, Meagan E.
Bennett, Elena M.
MetadataShow full item record
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’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’s most prevalent phosphorusrelated environmental consequences: eutrophication and consumption of Earth’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.
Author Posting. © American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of University of California Press for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in BioScience 63 (2013): 49-54, doi:10.1525/bio.2013.63.1.10.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Conversion to soy on the Amazonian agricultural frontier increases streamflow without affecting stormflow dynamics Hayhoe, Shelby J.; Neill, Christopher; Porder, Stephen; McHorney, Richard; LeFebvre, Paul; Coe, Michael T.; Elsenbeer, Helmut; Krusche, Alex V. (2011-01)Large-scale soy agriculture in the southern Brazilian Amazon now rivals deforestation for pasture as the region’s predominant form of land use change. Such landscape level change can have substantial consequences for ...
Galford, Gillian L.; Melillo, Jerry M.; Mustard, John F.; Cerri, Carlos E. P.; Cerri, Carlos C. (American Meteorological Society, 2010-10-28)The Brazilian Amazon is one of the most rapidly developing agricultural frontiers in the world. The authors assess changes in cropland area and the intensification of cropping in the Brazilian agricultural frontier state ...