Past, present, and future use of phosphorus in Chinese agriculture and its influence on phosphorus losses
Large inputs of phosphorus (P) in chemical fertilizers and feed supplements since 1978 have improved soil P status in arable land in China, but have also created challenges by increasing P concentrations in manure and exacerbating water quality degradation. Arable land in China can be divided into five management zones based on soil P chemistry, with 15–92 % of arable land having lower P status than the agronomic optimum and 0.3–7.2 % having severe risks of P leaching losses. A scenario analysis of soil P budget and agronomic P demand during 2011–2030 highlighted the great pressure China faces in sustainable P management and the need for drastic changes in current practices. This includes new policies to reduce P supplementation of feed and improved P use efficiency by livestock and programs to expand the adoption of appropriate fertilization, soil conservation, and drainage management practices to minimize P losses.