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

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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.