Plant Strategies and Cultural Practices to Improve the Uptake of Indigenous Soil P and the Efficiency of Fertilization

This study investigates the hypothesis that enhancing early plant growth can improve the utilization of phosphorus (P) from both indigenous soil resources and fertilizer P. Phosphorus availability is a critical factor limiting crop production worldwide, with substantial variation in P fertilizer application rates across continents. The annual input of mineral P fertilizer in global food production exceeds crop P offtake, resulting in P accumulation in soils. This inefficiency in P utilization is exacerbated by losses in the production chain, with erosion being a major contributor. As finite P resources dwindle, maximizing efficiency becomes imperative. To efficiently exploit accumulated P in soils and enhance the uptake of newly applied P fertilizers, early plant root growth must be improved. This report analyzes the impact of early root growth on enhancing plant P uptake, irrespective of soil P levels.
Phosphorus, Crop production
A.L. Smit, M. Blom-Zands tra, A. van der Werf and Prem S. Bindraban, 2013. Plant strategies and cultural practices to improve the uptake of indigenous soil P and the efficiency of fertilization. VFRC Report 2013/4. Virtual Fertilizer Research Center, Washington, D.C. 34 pp.; 4 tables; 6 figs.; 98 ref.