Database Research Summaries
2018 Measurement and incorporation of preferential flow paths into the selection of the best management practice to minimize soluble phosphorus transport

calendar_today Year of Research: 2018
update Posted On: 12/04/2019
group Steven Safferman (Principal Investigator, Michigan State University)
bookmark Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee

Research Focus

The focus of this project is to provide the required tools for the field-specific qualitative determination of the practices that best retain soluble P.


  • Develop the Mobile Macropore Characterization Unit (MMCU).
  • Produce a protocol to collect required data for the PSNRT.
  • Hold at least 3 demonstrations throughout the State and deploy as part of the “Evaluating Drainage Water Management in the River Raisin Watershed” project.
  • Transfer custody of the MMCU to the MSU Extension Filed Crops Team.
  • Track data from Tasks 3 and 4 to fine-tune the PSNRT and to provide data to progress in ultimately developing quantitative models.



  1. New and developed tools were combined to predict phosphorous retention, including estimating its transport through surface water and tile drains.
  2. Finite element modeling was used with soil columns for calibration and field monitoring for verification.
  3. Mobile Macropore Characterization Unit was developed and constructed
  4. The Practice Selector for Nutrient Retention Tool was produced.


  • This research will increase farmers understanding of nutrient management treatment yield responses to environment and management, and Increase the understanding of the effects of manure applied to soybean systems.
  • This research will minimize the negative environmental impacts from soybean production and increase understanding of the fate of soil and applied nutrients in field crop systems.

For more information about this research project, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.

Funded in part by the soybean checkoff.