The importance of phosphorus in agriculture: essential nutrients

Plant nutrition, Agricultural production
20 December 2022
fosforo en los cultivos y su importancia

Did you know that phosphorous (P) is one of the most important essential nutrients in agriculture? This element, along with others such as nitrogen (N), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and potassium (K), is key to increasing soil quality and boosting plant growth and strengthening, resulting in greater crop yield and productive capacity.

In this article we will give you the key to why you should keep an eye on the phosphorus level in your crops, the benefits you will obtain by controlling phosphorus levels, how you can detect a possible phosphorous deficiency and the best BRANDT products to help you keep everything under control. Are you ready? Then let’s get started.

Phosphorus in agriculture: a key element for photosynthesis

The first thing you should know is that phosphorus is one of the main agents that make photosynthesis possible. Besides helping plants convert and process solar energy, it also promotes the transport and absorption of other essential nutrients such as nitrogen. Thus, when a phosphorus deficiency is present, the crop will be less vigorous and the leaves may be weak and purple in colour due to the lack of sufficient photosynthesis.

Phosphorus aids agricultural crop growth

Furthermore, phosphorus is a vital nutrient in agriculture, as it contributes significantly to crop growth. An optimal amount of phosphorus in plants helps them to grow healthier and stronger, promoting flowering and earlier fruit ripening. But how can you identify optimal levels of phosphorus in plants? Below, we’ll list some of the warning signs.

How to detect a phosphorus deficiency in your crops

A lack of phosphorus in agricultural crops leads to several characteristic negative effects that can be clearly identified in plants. These are the most frequent:

  • Delayed plant growth.
  • Darker leaves, in a purple or brown tone, especially at the ends.
  • The colour of the stem also becomes darker and even has a bluish tone.
  • Fruits and flowers ripen more slowly and production is reduced.
Lack of phosphorus in coffee cherries for agriculture

BRANDT technology, the key to better use of phosphorus in agriculture

BRANDT offers several plant nutrition product lines developed specifically for phosphorus absorption, which promote the optimisation of phosphorus use in agriculture, both in the case of phosphorus deficiency and excess.

Over 80% of phosphorus in soil is immobile and not available to plants. BRANDT technologies offer several different ways to make the optimal amount of phosphorus available to the plant.

An example of this is BRANDT Smart P, with Smart System® technology, a high-efficiency phosphorus foliar fertiliser that provides farmers with a fast and effective way to apply phosphorus to their crops.

Within our range of special biostimulants, you will also find BRANDT Plant Start Duo: a solution rich in phosphorus and seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum and Ecklonia maxima), promoting root growth and helping plants to overcome stress situations.

Finally, we have our BRANDT Reaction P DS technology, a special fertiliser in the form of soluble granules that contains the two main elements: nitrogen in ammoniacal form and orthophosphorus derived from monoammonium phosphate. This fertiliser, which is a major source of phosphorus in agriculture, is characterised by the fact that it shields/protects the negative charges on the surface of the phosphate molecule, preventing calcium and magnesium in the soil from reacting with it and inactivating it. This protected phosphate is much more mobile in soil solution than conventional unprotected orthophosphate (for example, that present in 10-34-0). Furthermore, analysis of the shielded phosphate ion has shown that it moves up to 30 cm in the soil profile when applied by fertigation, while the same unshielded phosphate ion rarely moves more than 5 cm.

As you can see, plant nutrition is a key factor to take into account if you want to get the most out of your crops. In this sense, maintaining balanced levels of phosphorus in your agricultural crops will help you ensure their healthier and more vigorous development, increasing the quantity of flowers and fruits and, as a result, increasing yield.