Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-67
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-67
02 May 2024
 | 02 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Crop-specific Management History of Phosphorus Fertilizer Input (CMH-P) in the Croplands of United States: Reconciliation of Top-down and Bottom-up data Sources

Peiyu Cao, Bo Yi, Franco Bilotto, Carlos Gonzalez Fischer, Mario Herrero, and Chaoqun Lu

Abstract. Understanding and assessing the spatiotemporal patterns in crop-specific phosphorus (P) fertilizer management is crucial for promoting crop yield and mitigating environmental problems. The existing P fertilizer dataset, derived from sales data, depicts an average application rate on total cropland at the county level but overlooks cross-crop variations. Conversely, the survey-based dataset offers crop-specific application details at the state level yet lacks inter-state variability. By reconciling these two datasets, we developed long-term gridded maps to characterize crop-specific P fertilizer application rates, timing, and methods across the contiguous US at a resolution of 4 km × 4 km from 1850 to 2022. We found that P fertilizer application rate on fertilized area in the US increased from 0.9 g P m-2 yr-1 in 1940 to 1.9 g P m-2 yr-1 in 2022, with substantial variations among crops. However, approximately 40 % of cropland nationwide has remained unfertilized in the recent decade. The hotspots for P fertilizer use have shifted from the southeastern and eastern US to the Midwest and the Great Plains over the past century, reflecting changes in cropland area, crop choices, and P fertilizer use across different crops. Pre-planting (fall and spring) and broadcast application are prevalent among corn, soybean, and cotton in the Midwest and the Southeast, indicating a high P loss risk in these regions. In contrast, wheat and barley in the Great Plains receive the most intensive P fertilizer at planting and via non-broadcast application. The P fertilizer management dataset developed in this study can advance our comprehension in agricultural P budget and facilitate the refinement in P fertilizer best management practices to optimize crop yield and reduce P loss. Datasets are available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10700822 (Cao et al., 2024).

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Peiyu Cao, Bo Yi, Franco Bilotto, Carlos Gonzalez Fischer, Mario Herrero, and Chaoqun Lu

Status: open (until 08 Jun 2024)

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Peiyu Cao, Bo Yi, Franco Bilotto, Carlos Gonzalez Fischer, Mario Herrero, and Chaoqun Lu

Data sets

Annual crop-specific management history of phosphorus fertilizer input (CMH-P) in the croplands of United States from 1850 to 2022: Application rate, timing, and method Peiyu Cao, Bo Yi, Franco Bilotto, Carlos Gonzalez Fischer, Mario Herrero, and Chaoqun Lu https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10700822

Peiyu Cao, Bo Yi, Franco Bilotto, Carlos Gonzalez Fischer, Mario Herrero, and Chaoqun Lu

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Short summary
This article presents a spatially explicit time-series dataset reconstructing crop-specific phosphorus fertilizer application rate, timing, and method at a 4 km × 4 km resolution in the United States from 1850 to 2022. We comprehensively characterized the spatiotemporal dynamics of P fertilizer management over the last 170 years by considering cross-crop variations. This dataset will greatly contribute to the field of agricultural sustainability assessment and earth system modeling.
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