IFDC Report, Volume 14, No. 1

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This report focuses on the progress and developments made at IFDC headquarters, specifically emphasizing a new soil phosphorus test. The test utilizes iron hydroxide-coated paper strips as collectors for phosphorus in soil suspensions, offering a simple, cost-effective, and accurate method for determining plant-available phosphorus. The report discusses the methodology, its potential applications in various soil types, and ongoing field evaluations. The report further highlights the work of a Peruvian visiting scientist who studied Bayovar phosphate rock, a potential indigenous fertilizer for Peru's agriculture. The scientist evaluated the agronomic effectiveness of the rock on different crops and soil types, presenting promising results and suggesting further field testing. The report concludes with IFDC's participation in two technical meetings at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). These meetings aimed to collate soil fertility and fertilizer management knowledge in semi-arid tropical regions, identify challenges, and set research priorities. IFDC representatives contributed presentations on topics such as the world fertilizer market outlook, soil fertility management in semi-arid tropical regions, and simulation models for nutrient dynamics in cropping systems. This report provides an update on the work and progress of Kokoasse Kpomblekou, a Togolese scientist stationed at the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) during the second half of 1988. Kpomblekou researched to enhance Togo's phosphate rock's agronomic and economic effectiveness for crop production. The report highlights the study's objectives, which aimed to develop alternative techniques such as partial acidulation and compaction with soluble phosphate fertilizers to improve the reactivity and suitability of Togo phosphate rock for agricultural use. Under the guidance of Dr S. H. Chien, a Soil Chemist at IFDC, Kpomblekou examined various fertilizer materials derived from Togo phosphate rock, including partially acidulated rock and compacted rock with different soluble phosphate fertilizers. Laboratory incubation and greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of these modified phosphate fertilizers on maize and cowpea crops. Results indicated that both partial acidulation and compaction techniques improved the agronomic effectiveness of Togo phosphate rock, with compaction showing promising results. The findings suggest that compaction with triple superphosphate (TSP) or single superphosphate (SSP) could be a viable alternative technology for utilizing Togo's low-reactive phosphate rock. Furthermore, this compaction process allows for the inclusion of other nutrient fertilizers, making it a potentially attractive option for farmers in Togo. However, further fieldwork is necessary to assess the agronomic effectiveness of these compacted fertilizer products under actual farming conditions.
Phosphate fertilizers, Yields