The positive impact of phosphate rock on sustainable agriculture

The positive impact of phosphate rock on sustainable agriculture

Home Articles The positive impact of phosphate rock on sustainable agriculture

Phosphate rock is formed over millions of years from the accumulation of phosphate minerals in sedimentary deposits. Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for crop growth, playing a crucial role in energy transfer, root development and DNA synthesis.

It is an effective alternative for acid soils with low levels of available phosphorus for crops. In addition to its role as a source of phosphorus, it can contribute to improving soil quality by providing other essential minerals and reducing erosion. Proper use in combination with sustainable management practices can promote healthy plant growth and more balanced crop production.

According to several studies, the solubility of phosphate rock is essential for agricultural yield. This was evaluated in experiments using different agents, such as neutral ammonium citrate, 2% citric acid, or 2% formic acid [1]. This parameter reflects the chemical and mineralogical properties of the rock, directly influencing its effectiveness in agriculture [1]. Generally, as the substitution of CO2-3 for PO3-4 increases in the structure of apatite, the predominant mineral in most phosphate rocks, its solubility in ammonium citrate increases [1]. This solubility is closely related to crop response [1].

Advantages of rock phosphate over water-soluble fertilizers

In acid soils with low levels of available phosphorus, unprocessed phosphate rock can be an efficient alternative to water-soluble fertilizers such as triple superphosphate (SFT) or diammonium phosphate (DAP) [1]. In certain cases, its effectiveness can equal or exceed that of these fertilizers [2]. In addition, the gradual release of phosphorus from rock phosphate provides nutrients to plants over a longer period of time than water-soluble fertilizers [1]. It also contributes to improving soil quality and reducing erosion [1].

Application and types of soils benefited

Proper application of rock phosphate is important for its effectiveness in agriculture. Acidic phosphorus-deficient soils, especially in tropical environments, are most likely to benefit from rock phosphate[1]. However, factors such as rock reactivity, soil properties, management practices and crop type also play a role in maximizing its effects [2].

It is important to consider pretreatment in some circumstances to improve the solubility of the rock phosphate prior to direct application [1]. In addition, its effective use requires adequate fertilization with nitrogen and potassium [2]. Choosing the right combination of rock phosphate and support systems can improve utilization [2].

Promoting sustainable growth

At MYCSA AG, we have phosphate rock that offers 28% of total P2O5, 30% of calcium and a complete range of essential minerals such as S, Fe, Mg, K, Si, Zn, among others. This wealth of nutrients in a reduced volume facilitates handling and reduces costs. We have several options to suit your needs, from presentation for economical applications to micronized for drip irrigation systems. In addition to providing short-term nutrients, rock phosphate contributes to soil health and long-term growth of your crops. Take advantage of its benefits and move towards more sustainable agriculture.

[1] Chien, S. N., Prochnow, L., & Mikkelsen, R. (2009). Uso agronómico de la roca fosfórica para aplicación directa. ENTRENAMIENTO Y CRÉDITO COMO GENERADORES DE CAMBIOS SOCIALES Y AMBIENTALES EN EL CULTIVO DE CAFÉ–CUATRO AÑOS DESPUÉS, 13.
[2] Patiño Torres, Carlos; Sánchez de Prager, Marina. Efecto de la aplicación de roca fosfórica y la inoculación con bacterias solubilizadoras de fosfatos sobre el crecimiento del ají (Capsicum annum). Acta Agronómica, vol. 63, núm. 2, 2014, pp. 1-13. Universidad Nacional de Colombia Palmira, Colom