FARMFLOW-A dynamic model for phosphorus mass flow, simulating conventional and organic management of a Swedish dairy farm

Anna Karin Modin-Edman*, Ingrid Öborn, Harald Sverdrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A farm systems mass-balance calculation model, FARMFLOW, was applied to a case study comparing organic and conventional management of a Swedish experimental dairy farm, Öjebyn. Parameterisation of the model is implemented using detailed field data from the Öjebyn farm where the two management systems have been run parallel for more than 11 years. Simulations were made to compare the stocks, flows and resulting balances of phosphorus (P) in the two systems during six crop rotations (36 years). In addition, a maximum animal density scenario was tested, in order to analyse the effects of increased production intensity. Results show that FARMFLOW can be a useful tool for analysing the impact of management on internal farm P dynamics, as well as imports and exports. The organic management results in a higher proportion of internal P flows whereas the conventional system relies more on imports of P in feed and mineral fertilisers. In both management systems, the crop rotation cause large temporal and spatial variation in the application of manure P to the soil system. The resulting field specific soil P accumulation can indicate which fields to target with changed fertilisation management. In the maximum animal density scenario, both management systems led to an application rate of manure P in excess of crop demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalAgricultural Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of “Food21-Sustainable Food Production”, which is a Swedish interdisciplinary research programme. The Food21 programme is financed by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (MISTRA). We would like to thankfully acknowledge Helena Bengtsson, Gunnela Gustafson, Eva Salomon and Ingvar Nilsson for valuable discussions and access to data material. In addition, Simon Jonsson is thankfully acknowledged for providing expertise and data from the Öjebyn project.

Other keywords

  • Dairy farming
  • Management
  • Mass-balances
  • Phosphorus (P)


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