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Florida Phosphorus Index Educational Program (FPIEP)

Although soil test P methods are calibrated very well for crop production, there is concern that results from these methods are being inappropriately interpreted to address environmental concerns resulting from nutrient applications. This is particularly true in case of phosphorus losses from the agricultural soils and the assessment on water quality impacts. In the absence of any other suitable method, the regulatory agencies are looking towards using soil test P methods and interpretations to regulate nutrient applications on agricultural soils, which is inappropriate.

Soil testing procedures were developed to provide nutrient recommendations for optimum crop production, and not to address environmental risks. In order to be able to make a realistic assessment of the risk of phosphorus leaving agricultural lands, a qualitative tool called the 'Florida P-Index', using several factors specific to Florida conditions was developed and implemented.