CROPS NEWS
The Good Fungus
Dan Davidson DTN Contributing Agronomist
Thu Dec 12, 2013 06:45 AM CST

One factor that can limit crop production is phosphorus (P) availability. Growers can run soil tests and apply phosphate fertilizers to keep levels high. Still, the reality is phosphorus ties up in the soil and this can be particularly bothersome in the spring when soils are cool and damp and microbial activity is low.

Only 20% to 25% of the phosphorus a grower applies in a given year is actually available to the crop. The rest gets tied up with minerals such as aluminum and iron in acid soils and calcium and magnesium in alkaline soils.

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