What is Phosphorus Management?

Phosphorus is an essential macronutrient for the crop of corn. Its nutritional value is obtained in the form of improvement of corn root development and increased stalk length. It also hastens seed development, resistance to various diseases and earlier maturation of crop. It has seen that in some cases if phosphorus management is done in right way the corn yield can increase by 40 bu. per acre.

Improved management practices are the need of the hour as there are several environmental impacts of Phosphorus, especially on water quality. In certain areas of the world, it has affected waters in a drastic manner due to bad phosphorus management. Various local institutes in the USA and senior agronomists are attempting to educate farmers for improving the management practices.

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What are Five Tips for Phosphorus Management on a Farm?

Advanced agronomy has given us various methods to improve crop production. Here we are going to discuss five major tips for improving phosphorus management. These tips are mentioned below:

  • Consistent soil testing: To know the level of phosphorus, soil tests are to be conducted every year. There should be a collaboration with the private labs as the government labs are not advanced and not well-funded. It is good to take samples from the depth of 4” to 6” otherwise the tests will not be accurate.
  • Calculating the phosphorus balance in the soil: The crop takes away phosphorus from the soil. To replenish it, different sources of phosphorus should be considered. These sources may be fertilizers, manures, composts, and bio-solids.
  • Evaluation of placement: The placement of phosphorus near the roots makes its uptake quite easy and quick. So placement of phosphorus is very important in the soil. Some farmers spray or throw phosphorus on the soil. This practice is costly and absorption is also slow leading to extra nutrient costs.
  • In-season tools testing: Tissue tests are performed to know how a crop is using these nutrients. This helps the farmers to know and adjust their seeding and fertilizing time according to the season. This will not only increase the yield but will increase disease resistance.
  • Working with professionals: Farmers should always associate themselves with professionals. It is seen that some retailers who are certified in agricultural practices have the expertise to provide knowledge and tips to the farmers regarding sustainability. There are four ‘Rs’ of sustainability namely, the right fertilizer source, available at the right rate, at the right time and at the right place.

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