Ag Data Commons
2 files

Data from: Development of PLEAD: a database containing event-based runoff P loadings from agricultural fields

posted on 2024-02-15, 17:58 authored by Carl BolsterCarl Bolster, Claire Baffaut, Nathan Nelson, Deanna Osmond, Miguel Cabrera, John Ramirez-Avila, Andrew Sharpley, Tamie Veith, Anne McFarland, Anomaa Senaviratne, Gary Pierzynski, Ranjith Udawatta

The P Loss in runoff Events from Agricultural fields Database (PLEAD) is a compilation of event-based, field-scale dissolved and/or total P loss runoff loadings from agricultural fields collected at various research sites located in the US Heartland and Southern US. The database also includes runoff and erosion rates; soil test P; tillage practices; planting and harvesting rates and practices; fertilizer application rate, method, and timing; manure application rate, method, and timing; and livestock grazing density and timing. In total, over 1800 individual runoff events – ranging in duration from 0.4 to 97 hr – have been included in the database. Event runoff P losses ranged from less than 0.05 to 1.3 and 3.0 kg P/ha for dissolved and total P, respectively. The data contained in this database have been used in multiple research studies to address important modeling questions relevant to P management planning. We provide these data to encourage additional studies by other researchers.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: PLEAD Database - Excel.

    File Name: PLEAD_2018-11-16.xlsx

    Resource Description: Includes data spreadsheets for: Land Use, Soil Data, Soil Chem Data, Inorganic P Application, Grazing Data, Organic P Application, Tillage, Irrigation, Planting, Harvesting, Runoff Data, Sampling Info, Runoff Collection Notes, Daily Weather Data, Weather Stations, Other Notes, Contact Info.

  • Resource Title: PLEAD Database Data Dictionary.

    File Name: PLEAD_data_dictionary.csv

    Resource Description: Defines the column headers/variables, units, and data type represented in each spreadsheet.



USDA-NRCS: 69-3A75-12-182


Data contact name

Bolster, Carl

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

One of the significant challenges to testing and evaluating models is the limited amount of data available for comparing model predictions with measured data. Increasing awareness of the lack of available data for model evaluation and the increased use of on-line journal access has prompted making data available to the public. Providing data access to scientists and modelers not affiliated with the original research will encourage additional investigations into the data by researchers with differing backgrounds and expertise. The data contained in PLEAD have been used by several research groups in multiple research studies to address important modeling questions relevant to P management planning. The uniqueness of PLEAD is that it contains event-based data at the field scale. Because total annual P loss is oftentimes dominated by a relatively few significant runoff events, the development of a P loss database such as PLEAD, which includes individual runoff events, will provide a unique data set against which field-scale P loss models can be evaluated. Moreover, the development of new databases expands the quantity of data available to investigators researching the factors controlling P loss from agricultural fields and investigating methods for improving the mathematical descriptions of these processes. We foresee these data being used to address similar questions with different models. We also anticipate that these data will be used to evaluate P indices as states respond to the new USDA-NRCS 590 Nutrient Management Standard which directs states to evaluate the accuracy of their P index. These data can also be used to investigate correlations between land management practices and P loss from agricultural fields.


  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Data collected from sites located in Map showing field sites located in Washington County, AR; Putnam County, GA; Franklin County, KS; Chariton County, MO; Knox County, MO; Leflore County, MS; Henderson County, NC; and Erath County, TX.

ISO Topic Category

  • environment

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

agricultural land; databases; phosphorus; United States; Southeastern United States; tillage; planting; harvesting; fertilizer rates; manure spreading; livestock; grazing; models; planning; researchers; scientists; data collection; Natural Resources Conservation Service; nutrient management; land management; agricultural runoff; soil erosion

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 212

Primary article PubAg Handle

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Bolster, Carl H.; Baffaut, Claire; Nelson, Nathan; Osmond, Deanna; Cabrera, Miguel; Ramirez-Avila, John; Sharpley, Andrew; Veith, Tamie; McFarland, Anne; Senaviratne, Anomaa; Pierzynski, Gary; Udawatta, Ranjith (2018). Data from: Development of PLEAD: a database containing event-based runoff P loadings from agricultural fields. Ag Data Commons.