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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Workshop Discusses Nitrogen, Soluble Phosphorus Mobility in Soils

August 14, 2012

CENTERBURG, Ohio – Efforts to reduce soluble nitrogen and soluble phosphorus from moving off farmland will be discussed by Ohio State University experts and others during a joint workshop and meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and the Association of Ohio Pedologists Aug. 23-24. 

The goal of the workshop is to offer ways to improve overall water quality and to lessen or prevent the movement of nitrogen and phosphorus to surface water, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops and water quality issues.

As it now stands, it is estimated that about 80 percent of phosphorus is coming from about 20 percent of the land, said Hoorman, who discuss “Effective Cover Crop Management and Soil Drainage Management on Nutrient Mobility” during the event. 

“And 90 percent of the nitrogen and phosphorus that moves seems to come from one or two really intense rainfall events each year,” he said. “So what we are looking at is how water moves nutrients through the soil in three different soil pits at the Jim Sherman farm. 

“Since what we are talking about is a soluble nitrogen, we’re looking how to increase water infiltration and also how tie up nitrogen and phosphorus by getting the water and nutrients in contact with the soil and organic matter. If we can slow the water down, then the organic matter and soil can start to tie up the soluble nutrients and prevent them from running into surface water.” 

The program, which is open to the public, takes place Aug. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Upper Big Walnut Research Site, 16140 Peerless Road in Centerburg, and Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Highbanks Metropark, 9466 Columbus Pike (U.S. Route 23 N) in Lewis Center. 

Topics to be discussed include: “Influences on Phosphorus and Nitrogen Mobility in the Soils Surface, Subsoil, in Drained Conditions,” “Soil Porosity, Filtration, and Water Storage Capacity in Relation to Movement of Soluble Nutrients,” “Using Hydric Soil Indicators to Determine Water Table Depth in Disturbed Conditions,” and an update on Ohio Sewage Regulations. 

Registration is $50 for one day and $100 for both days. Payments from Soil and Water Conservation Society members and the public can be sent to John Armentano, 3635 Day Spring Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026. Payments from Ohio Pedologists members can be sent to Jeff Glanville, 107 Southwind Drive, Gahanna, Ohio 43230. 

The deadline to register is Aug. 17. Registrations after that date will not guarantee lunch so late registers need to contact Hoorman at 419-421-7255 or

Tracy Turner
Jim Hoorman