An evaluation of the agronomic potential of partially acidulated rock phosphates in calcareous soil

L. M. Xiong, R. K. Lu, B. Truong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The agronomic potential of four partially acidulated rock phosphates (PARP) made from a moderate reactive phosphate rock at 30 or 60 percent acidulation either by sulfuric acid alone or by combination of sulfuric and phosphoric acids was compared with that of monocalcium phosphate (MCP) and ground rock phosphate (RP) on a calcareous soil (Typic Hapluquent, pH 8.5) in greenhouse. Dry weight and P accumulation of successive cuttings of ryegrass shoots were used to evaluate the relative agronomic potential of these fertilizers. Results indicated that PARPs of higher water-soluble P content had similar immediate effectiveness as MCP at two earlier cuttings, however, they produced significantly less total dry matter than MCP did in overall six successive cuttings. PARPs were constantly inferior to MCP in terms of P uptake by plant in all the six cuttings. When compared to RP, on the other hand, PARPs had markedly higher relative effectiveness. RP itself affected neither the dry matter production nor the P uptake by plant as compared to control treatment.

Fractionation of residual inorganic P in the soil samples at two time intervals during plant growth indicated that MCP-P mainly transformed to dicalcium phosphate and octacalcium phosphate, and to a less extent to Fe and Al associated P. These forms of P had significant correlation with P accumulation by plant. Raw RP did not subject to transformation after applied to the soil regardless the duration of culture time. No obvious dissolution of unreacted RP in PARP materials was detected. Plant dry matter production and P uptake were mainly correlated with water-soluble P added with the fertilizers. It is suggested from the experiment that although partial acidulation could substantially improved the effectiveness of rock phosphate and the immediate effect of the fertilizer was competitive with MCP, application of PARP to calcareous soils is only of short-term benefits; in a long run this fertilizer is not considered as a desirable source of P in calcareous soils since the unacidulated part in the fertilizer was unable to be solubilized in the alkaline conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalFertilizer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • calcareous soil
  • partially acidulated rock phosphate
  • phosphorus fractionation


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