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  Section: Plant Nutrition » Macronutrients » Phosphorus
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Timing of Application of Phosphorus Fertilizers

  Historical Information
  Phosphorus Functions in Plants
  Nature and Transformations of Soil Phosphorus
Diagnosing Phosphorus Deficiency
  Visual Symptoms of Deficiency and Excess
  Tissue Testing for Phosphorus
  Soil Testing for Phosphorus
Factors Affecting Management of Phosphorus Fertilization
  Crop Response to Phosphorus
  Soil Water
  Soil Temperature
  Sources of Phosphorus
  Timing of Application of Phosphorus Fertilizers
  Placement of Phosphorus Fertilizers
  Foliar-Applied Phosphorus Fertilization
  Fertilization in Irrigation Water

Overwhelming evidence indicates that for annual crops, phosphorus fertilizers should largely be applied preplant. Phosphorus moves to plant roots primarily by diffusion, and young seedlings of most annual crops are very sensitive to phosphorus deficits. Furthermore, yields of some crops often fail to recover fully from transitory phosphorus deficits (93).

Grunes et al. (94) showed that the proportion of fertilizer phosphorus absorbed by sugar beets (Beta vulgaris L.) decreased as the time of application was delayed. Lingle and Wright (95) reported that muskmelons (Cucumis melo L.), which showed large responses to phosphorus at seeding, showed no response to sidedressed phosphorus fertilization. Sanchez et al. (96) reported that a preplant phosphorus deficit in lettuce could not be corrected by sidedressed fertilization. Preplant broadcast or band applications are usually recommended for annual crops.

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