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Excess P use in China

September 29, 2010

Nature today has a piece about high rates of P fertilizer use in China.

There are some shocking numbers in the report, as China’s zeal to overcome previous widespread soil P deficiency has completely tipped the balance in the other direction.  Now the soils have tripled in their P content while China has reached the point of consuming 35% of global P fertilizer.  Needless to say, the runoff of P from these watersheds is very high and lakes that are beyond “pea soup” are commonplace.  Also of interest is the heavy role of livestock and manure runoff in contributing to the situation.

It’s fascinating to contrast this situation to the situation in China at the turn of the previous century when Chinese cities intensively recycled both human and animal dung and had lakes with very high water quality.  Check out the fascinating report here.

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