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When new land was first developed, phosphatic fertilisers had to be applied at high rates to overcome Phosphorus (P) deficiency, and to increase P fertility. Once good P fertility has been established after a number of years of applying P, the requirement for applying high rates of P falls. After that you only need to apply enough fertiliser P to replace that removed in products, fixed by the soil, eroded and leached, that is a maintenance rate of P.
In relation to P fertiliser decisions for pastures you need to ask:
• Do I need P?
• How do I find out?
• If I need P, how much should I apply to achieve my production target?
• Is aiming for my production target the best economic decision?
• How do I know if I applied the right amount?
This Bulletin aims to answer the first 3 of these questions. Agricultural consultants and decision support tools can help to answer the fourth.
It is important to apply only the required P, not only to achieve yield targets but also to reduce the impact on the environment and waterways. Fertiliser manufacture consumes resources and nutrient losses can harm the water quality downstream.
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Liming, Phosphorus fertilizers, Soils, Tissue analysis, Soil testing, Pastures
Agriculture | Food Science | Plant Sciences
Summers, R, and Weaver, D. (2011), Soil test and phosphorus rate for high rainfall clover pastures. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. Bulletin 4829, 20p.