Many growers are aware of the importance of an effective phosphorous strategy to unlock the yield potential in their plants. Yet still, 1 in 4 fields in the UK have shown to be deficient in Phosphate. The latest podcast released by BASIS in Sep 20221 (and linked below) had us thinking about how best to approach the Phosphorous need in a sustainable way.
Phosphorous is an essential macronutrient for the healthy growth of crops, giving the plant the energy it needs to grow. This macronutrient is very helpful in aiding Nitrogen uptake and efficiency. Checking for a phosphorous deficiency is relatively straight forward – a weaker stunted plant, less established root system and a dark green leaf, with reddish to purplish leaf margins are all tell-tale signs of Phosphorous deficiency. Since P is fairly immobile in the soil, any soil condition that limits root growth – cool temperature, wet / dry conditions, or compaction – can induce the deficiency.
Typically, this has been corrected through traditional fertilisation methods. For example, agricultural land in the west of England has commonly been blessed with livestock, and so organic manure, rich in mineral P, has been generously applied to soils. Nevertheless, this approach has at times led to environmental issues through water eutrophication, where even the smallest amounts of phosphorous run-off into water courses can have devastating impacts. Algal blooms boosted by the P, starve the water of oxygen and can even emit toxic bacteria.
So, what are the solutions for a more efficient use of Phosphorous in the soil?
At Fielder we actively promote the use of seed treatments, high in P concentrate. Our Kick-off seed treatment is an efficient use of this macronutrient, helping get the plant off to the best possible start during the emergence stage. The fact the nutrient is applied directly on to the seed before planting means any run-off out of the soil is massively minimised. This approach is a very efficient use of Phosphorous.
At Fielder, we have also developed a cutting-edge product, Phosphixer, designed to encourage an efficient release and unlocking of soil phosphorous, with the goal of maximising yields. It works by being injected into the soil directly next to the young seed or seedling. Phosphixer‘s introduction into the soil works on cations that replace the phosphates that are locked up. The phosphates, along with other major and macro nutrients are released into the soil, to be taken up by the roots of the plant. There are obvious environmental pluses of this type of new-wave nutrition application. With expected pressures to come on the need to reduce phosphate fertilisers, there will need to be a concerted effort to improve the efficiency of soil Phosphate reserves. Fielder PhospHixer aims to satisfy this need and deliver Phosphates more efficiently directly to the plant, and reduce the level of run-off that can occur. This product is being trialled on a whole range of crops including potatoes, OSR, cereals and lettuce.
If you want to learn more about our product range do get in touch with us – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01743 860924. And we would encourage you to listen to the interesting BASIS podcast below on effective P management strategies.