Important Facts About Phosphorus

Important Facts About Phosphorus

“The second most deficient soil nutrient in America (only second to CA).”

The new modern age of agriculture has created a real problem for Phosphorus in our soil. The abundance of exchangeable Phosphorus is nearly a thing of the past!

Even though most of our soil naturally has a good level of Phosphorus, 1000 to 4000# per acre, most of it is locked up chemically! PLUS man made phosphates such as DAP (diammonium phosphate 18-46-0), mono-ammonium phosphate (MAP 11-48-0), plus poor grades of ammoniated super phosphoric acids can create a “three-fold” problem.

  • These products are water soluable and in a unhealthy, unbalanced soil this phosphorus can be locked up within hours not usable by the crop.
  • Secondly, ammonium activated and high acid phosphorus products can suppress and kill soil life. Therefore, not only do our crops actually use only a small amount of these fertilizers, but these “man-made” fertilizers are slowly destroying our priceless land.
  • 11-48-0 (MAP) requires three times the CaCo3 to neutralize it as other nitrogen products (DAP requires 1 ’12 times more). They can produce a very acid condition (disease problems are common).

NOTICE: In “dead mineral soils” only 2 to 10% of the phosphorus will be available to the plant (normally, only 1 to 4# of P will be exchangeable at any one time for the plants use). No wonder we have seen Phosphorus deficiency in our crops so often. This is why in these sick soils 2 to 3 gallons of a top quality liquid fertilizer solution is better than a ton of dry fertilizer (DAP).

  • PHOSPHORUS is the most important anion (negative charged nutrient).
  • Phosphorus and its balance to N is very important for the health and vigor of any growing plant. Phosphorus is a basic part of the sugar-protein energy-enzyme family chain. Highest protein and mineral levels are achieved with a HIGH LEVEL OF P AND IN BALANCE TO NITROGEN! To keep a proper balance of N to P, your soil needs a high exchangeable P level or readily available P should be 175# or more; and nitrate N (N03) should not exceed 80# (minimum 2 to 1 ratio)!! This is why in a young growing plant (corn) that you never want to supply a large amount of available N at one time. What if you applied 150# N at planting time with 50# N03 in soil and a P level of 100#. We have reversed the N to P ratio.

What can happen to corn with reversed N to P ratio??

  • Low sugar levels are common with more stress of diseases and insects.
  • Plant energy level is limited and will not stand stress as well (cold, wet, heat, etc.).
  • Feed value of silage or grain is down considerably.
  • Plant roots absorb P in the form of ions of ortho, or dihydrogen phosphate (H2P04). Nearly all P needs to come thru the bio-energy process of the soil (humus, or “soil life”). Direct foliar P is an excellent way to spoon feed plants that have a need for additional P.

GROW YOUR PHOSPHORUS – most soil has 1000 to 4000# of P reserve, and a healthy 3 % organic matter soil can have 400# of available P. Soluable P is built into the millions of microbes, and they are 100% exchangeable P!! Rain and snow is loaded with phorphorus, so a loose flocculated soil will allow water to move thru and collect valuable nutrients. Let the earthworm work, because his castings are 7 times higher in P (it’s 100% exchangeable to the plant).

Remember this fact!

Soil life and nutrient balance determines the amount of exchangeable phosphorus in your soil, not the amount of dry phosphorus fertilizer you apply!