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Phosphatic fertilizers

Fertilizer phosphorus is an expensive input and its management poses serious problems due to several complexities in its behaviour in different types of soil. This often results in its poor recovery from applied fertilizers.

Choice of phosphatic fertilizer

1. In slightly acid, neutral or mildly alkaline soils, water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers are more suitable.

2. In wetland rice soils, water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers are preferable as pH of most of the submerged soils is near neutral.

3. In strongly acidic soils whose pH does not rise above 5.5 to 6.0 even on submergence, phosphatic fertilizers containing citrate soluble form of P like basic slag, dicalcium phosphate, steamed bone meal etc. are suitable.

4. For highly acidic upland soils or submerged soils whose pH will not rise above 5.5 even on submergence, powdered rock phosphate is suitable. Soil acidity converts tricalcium phosphate in rock phosphate to plant available monocalcium form.

5. For short duration crops where quick response is required, water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers are most suitable.

6. For perennial crops like rubber, oil palm, coffee, tea, cardamom etc. phosphorus in the form of rock phosphate can be applied.

7. In black soil (Chittur taluk of Palakkad District) phosphatic fertilizers containing water-soluble phosphate like single superphosphate are most suitable.

(Source : Kerala Agricultural University)

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