USDA and OCP North America Jointly Fund Phosphorus Research

OCP North America has provided matching funds to support a two-year postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. Carl Bolster, research hydrologist at the USDA-ARS’s Food Animal Environmental Systems Research Unit in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The postdoctoral researcher will work on topics directly related to the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance’s Phosphorus Transport Modeling Group and in collaboration with researchers at the ARS Soil Drainage Research Unit and Ohio State University.

The unique collaboration leverages a combination of public and private sector funds to advance the study of phosphorus flows from agricultural fields in the Western Lake Erie Basin, a significant eutrophication hotspot. Research will focus on the development and testing of a model to determine the relative contributions of legacy and incidental phosphorus losses from agricultural fields.

OCP is a global leader in plant nutrition and a foundational supporter of the Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance, who facilitated the collaboration. “OCP North America is very pleased to provide support for this important work,” said Kerry McNamara, Chief Executive Officer of OCP North America and Alliance Board member, “which is fully aligned with our mission of helping North American farmers maximize their productivity while protecting the environment, including promoting sustainable nutrient management practices that protect water quality.”

Current models of phosphorus transport fail to address whether phosphorus found in waterways is from recent years or decades-old applications. That knowledge is essential in determining strategies for reducing phosphorus losses to the environment, which contribute to algae blooms in Lake Erie. The new research collaboration will be used to help to identify management practices best suited to reducing phosphorus losses from farmland in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

The Alliance’s Phosphorus Transport Modeling Group is establishing itself as the go-to resource for understanding the science of agricultural phosphorus transport modeling. For further information, please contact us.