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1 January 2013 Regional Differences in Phosphorus Budgets in Intensive Soybean Agriculture
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Abstract

Fertilizer-intensive agriculture has been integral to increasing food production over the past half century hut 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.

©2013 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Shelby H. Riskin, Stephen Porder, Meagan E. Schipanski, Elena M. Bennett, and Christopher Neill "Regional Differences in Phosphorus Budgets in Intensive Soybean Agriculture," BioScience 63(1), 49-54, (1 January 2013). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2013.63.1.10
Published: 1 January 2013
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