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Long-term greenhouse evaluation of partially acidulated phosphate rock fertilizers. III. Agronomic effectiveness relative to single superphosphate



Long-term greenhouse evaluation of partially acidulated phosphate rock fertilizers. III. Agronomic effectiveness relative to single superphosphate



Fertilizer Research 29(3): 295-307



The agronomic effectiveness (yield and P uptake) of twelve granular, partially acidulated phosphate rock fertilizers (PAPR) and two finely ground, unacidulated phosphate rocks (PR) were compared to that of a single superphosphate in a long-term greenhouse experiment with lucerne (Medicago sativa L., cv. CUF101), grown in a low P sorbing, moderately acid, sandy loam soil of moderate P status (Paleustaf). The PAPRs were prepared from two unreactive PRs (Christmas Is. 'A' grade and Duchess rock from Queensland) and acidulated at two rates (25% and 50% on a H2SO4 to single superphosphate basis) with either H2SO4 or H3PO4. Additional products included H2SO4 PAPRs cogranulated with elemental S (10% w/w). Superphosphate was consistently superior to all PRs and PAPRs in agronomic effectiveness throughout this two-year study. The most effective of the PAPRs were those that were 50% acidulated with H2SO4 and cogranulated with elemental S; this type of fertilizer from both rocks was approximately 2/3 as effective as superphosphate when relative agronomic effectiveness indices (RAE) were calculated from cumulative yields. The increase in agronomic effectiveness relative to superphosphate (RAE value) by the partial acidulation of the PR could be attributed to its effect of increasing the P solubility in the PAPR. A curvilinear relationship existed between the RAE values of PRs and PAPRs, measured from cumulative yield or P uptake data, and the percentage of the total P in each fertilizer that was in a soluble (water + citrate soluble) form. Cogranulation with elemental S (10% w/w) significantly displaced this relationship upwards by increasing the RAE of H2SO4 PAPRs by more than 50%. The maximum cumulative recovery of applied P by lucerne tops after five bulked harvests (fifteen consecutive harvests) was 61.5%, which occurred at the low application rate of superphosphate. The decline in the substitution value of PRs for superphosphate, that occurred with increasing P rates tended to be offset both by increasing the level of acidulation and by cogranulating the PAPR with elemental S.

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Accession: 002152769

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