The Importance of Phosphorus
Ever wonder why some fields are impacted by drought more than others? It could be the result of low phosphorus levels in the soil.
Phosphorus is a key contributor to plant and root development, along with nutrient uptake. From a technical standpoint, phosphorus is a fundamental element of a plant’s DNA and RNA structure, and a key component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the primary energy currency for a plant. This means phosphorus is responsible for helping a plant grow, develop and maintain energy throughout its life cycle.
As far as the drought conditions are concerned, when plants are already stressed and struggling to retain nutrients, it’s pretty obvious that low phosphorus levels in a field will have a negative impact on plant performance.
Signs of Phosphorus Deficiencies
Phosphorus deficiencies can be harder to identify than other nutrients, mainly because they can often look the same as harsh environmental conditions. But don’t worry, if you think you’re seeing something, call your Local Liqui-Grow Sales Applicator to get expert guidance in identifying those deficiencies.
The main symptoms of phosphorus deficiencies are stunted plants or purplish leaves. It’s important to know what hybrids you have in your field, as some plants have natural characteristics that may resemble a phosphorus deficiency.
Once plants have a bold blue or purple hue to them, though, recovery can be difficult. Thus, we recommend growers take a proactive approach to nutrient management to avoid potential issues.
Learn more about phosphorus management in this video to determine if your field has sufficient resources available or needs intensive application.
Maintaining Phosphorus Levels
Overall, the basics of phosphorus management haven’t changed. Soil naturally has very small amounts of phosphorus in a plant-available form. But phosphorus is usually in mineral and organic forms that must go through a long process of weathering and microbial degradation before they become plant-available. Thus, phosphorus applications are often necessary to maintain adequate phosphorus levels.
Speaking of adequate levels, as new technologies emerge and advanced hybrids are developed, new phosphorus recommendations are coming into play. In 2023, Iowa State University updated their nutrient recommendations to meet the demands of production. See how your soil compares to these new standards here.
Once phosphorus is applied, the soil does a great job of retaining it. When growers apply phosphorus in a liquid form, it is more readily available to the plant and isn’t bound up by other nutrients, like calcium, iron and aluminum. Liqui-Grow’s extensive testing and research has shown that using a balanced fertilizer approach and applying phosphorus at the same time as potassium and other micronutrients provides the best results for your crop’s performance. Using a phosphorus stabilizing product like Avail T5 further protects your nutrients and helps your fertilizer investment pay off even faster.
To learn more about the technology available for phosphorus applications, watch this Liqui Grow Loop video and contact your local Liqui-Grow sales rep to create a customized nutrient management plan for your operation. Text us at 564-220-2508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.