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July 29-130-Brad Lee

  1. 1. Soil Phosphorus in Urban Kentucky: Lawn and Gardening our Way to Hell in a Vegetable Basket Brad D. Lee, PhD, CPSS Associate Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky MSU Extension
  2. 2. • Nitrogen (N) • Phosphorus (P) • Potassium (K) Plant Requirements S, Ca, Mg, Mo, Cu, Co, B, Mn, Fe, Cl, Ni, Zn C, H, O
  3. 3. Nutrient Supplements Urban Agriculture
  4. 4. Excess P leads to Eutrophication Process leads to rapid accumulation of algae in our waterwaysImage Source: NASA Earth Observatory
  5. 5. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Lake Recreational Advisories, Kentucky Division of Water 2014 - 2016
  6. 6. AgricultureUrban EconomicsAesthetics
  7. 7. When Precipitation > Infiltration… Farms AgricultureUrban USDA NRCS Incentives Stormwater EPA Regulations Increases with development Development = tax revenue $ Soil loss = Crop loss Crop loss = Business loss $ Agricultural Runoff USDA/Tim McCabe
  8. 8. EPA Regulates Stormwater in over 100 Urban Communities in 32 Counties (2/3 of population) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Communities • ( MS4s population > 10,000)
  9. 9. EPA Required Minimum Control Measures 1. Public Education & Outreach  Number of soil tests 2. Public Participation/Involvement 3. Illicit Discharge Detection & Elimination 4. Construction Site Runoff Control 5. Post-Construction Runoff Control 6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
  10. 10. Soil Tests Fertilizer recommendation is made based on test results by UK for the desired crop ~10 cm depth Cost varies by county Free to ~ $10 Test for plant available P levels
  11. 11. Soil Test P and Agronomics Soil Test P = Plant Available P (mg kg-1) Yield Deficit Excess 15 30 Optimum range
  12. 12. Soil Test P (mg kg-1 soil) 0 30 60 90 120 150 180 WaterSolubleP(mgkg-1soil)
  13. 13. Soil Test P and Water Quality Soil Test P (mg kg-1) Yield// Deficit Optimum range Excess 15 30 High Risk 60 WaterSolubleP
  14. 14. Kentucky County Soil Tests 1990 – 2014 (n = 990,162) Lawn and Garden (Urban) •Total = 179,184 •Max = 17,691 •Min = 52 •Mean = 1493 •Median = 747 Agriculture •Total = 810,978 •Max = 52,245 •Min = 116 •Mean = 6758 •Median = 4886
  15. 15. Kentucky Soil Test P (~1 million tests analyzed 1990 – 2014) Agriculture Urban (Lawn & Garden) 60 255075100125 SoilTestP(mgkg-1) 60 mg kg-1, High Risk 1
  16. 16. High Risk Soil Test P Levels Statewide 34% > 60 mg kg-1 79% > 60 mg kg-1 Agriculture Urban
  17. 17. Physiographic Regions of Kentucky Bluegrass E. Coalfield W. Pennyrile W. Coalfield Mississippi Embayment E. Pennyrile KY USDA NRCS
  18. 18. Regional Distribution of Soil Test P Levels
  19. 19. % Soil Tests with High Risk P Levels Urban High Risk Soil Test P Levels by County Agriculture
  20. 20. STORMWATER: Direct relationship P inputs and storm drain exports Hobbie et al., 2017 200 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 200 Storm drain export Stormdrainexport(kgkm-2y-1) Net inputs (kg km-2 y-1)
  21. 21. Homeowners’ decisions are related to their attitudes, norms and values Widespread idea (& marketing) that fertilizing will result in a healthier and greener lawn (Nelson et al., 2008; Cheng et al., 2008)
  22. 22. States are restricting P fertilizer in urban areas Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) Potassium (K)
  23. 23. 11 States that Regulate P Fertilizer Sales in Urban Areas Connecticut’s Office of Legislative Research Would something like this work for Kentucky?
  24. 24. Questions? Brad Lee, PhD CPSS Plant and Soil Sciences University of Kentucky Brad.lee@uky.edu

Editor's Notes

  • The MS4 program consists of several requirements, referred to as the six minimum control measures and are as follows: public education and outreach; public participation and involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations.
  • These were 22 Kentucky Soils. Additional work needs to be done in other areas of the state.
  • MS4s are required to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable, protect water quality, and satisfy the appropriate water quality requirement of the Clean Water Act. They are to develop a stormwater management plan that address the six minimum control measures.


    Image Citation: Ashley Osborne, UK CAFE

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