ISSN: 1659-2751

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Evaluation of the Use of Calcium Phosphates for the Fertilization of Tropical Crops

Abstract

Phosphorus is one of the elements that commonly limits agricultural production in the humid tropics. It is present in relatively large concentrations in some agricultural soils; however, it is poorly available to plants. The objective of the study was to demonstrate the efficiency of the calcium phosphates to fertilize tropical crops. Calcium phosphates (P-Ca) have low solubility and at the same time low stability in acids environments (soils). In a greenhouse study the efficiency of two fertilizer blends based on P-Ca were compared to a commercial fertilizer (10-30-10). The commercial treatment proved to have the highest P availability in soils, when compared with the other two treatments, four weeks after application. Two months after the fertilizer application, there were no significant differences in the concentration of P, as measured by resins, among treatments. In a commercial pineapple plantation, two P-Ca treatments and a commercial fertilizer (8-40-12) were evaluated. The P-Ca treatment resulted in better plant growth and highest concentration of available P. In conclusion, in short-term crops it is not recommended the use of P-Ca, but with long-term crops it could be a good source of P.

Key words: phosphorus concentration, fertilization, calcium phosphates.

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