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How Sensitive Soils Affect Water Quality
North Dakota Ag Connection - 09/12/2023

There's some exciting news from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. They're on a mission to unravel a soil mystery: the influence of phosphorus. Yep, that vital nutrient that our plants love.

Now, phosphorus is pretty cool. It's in many fertilizers and is a superhero nutrient for crops. But like all superheroes, too much power (or in this case, phosphorus) can sometimes lead to issues. If it runs off into nearby waters, it can supercharge algal blooms.

These blooms gobble up oxygen, making it tough for other aquatic life to breathe and thrive. Plus, these algal outbursts aren't too friendly for humans, wildlife, or even towns that bank on fishing and tourism.

Expert Faruk Djodjic reveals that certain lands are more susceptible to phosphorus runoff, suggesting that identifying these areas can improve soil and water quality.

Now, how did they figure out which soils were the sensitive ones? Enter the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan. With their tech, Djodjic and his team got a closer look at soil samples. They found that aluminum compounds play a big role in holding onto phosphorus.

Djodjic praises the CLS for providing valuable insights that would not have been possible without their technology.

Well, the findings could reshape farming practices. It's all about giving some TLC to phosphorus, especially when dealing with sensitive soils. Their endgame is helping farmers tackle soil issues and keeping our waters phosphorus-free.

Djodjic emphasizes the goal of guiding farmers in managing sensitive soils, ensuring phosphorus remains in place, and maintaining clean waters.

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