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Delivering improved phosphorus acquisition by root systems in pasture and arable crops

Code: 9781801460071
Richard J. Simpson and Rebecca E. Haling, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia; and Phillip Graham, Graham Advisory, Australia

Chapter synopsis: Improving low efficiency of phosphorus (P) use in agriculture is an imperative because P is one of the key nutrients underpinning sustainable intensification of food production and the rock-phosphate reserves, from which P fertilisers are made, are finite. This paper describes key soil, root and microbial processes that influence P acquisition with a focus on factors that can be managed to ensure optimal use of fertiliser, and development of root systems for improved P acquisition. A case study describes grasslands in southern Australia where the P-balance efficiency of production is very low, mainly because soils are P deficient and moderately to highly P-sorbing. Use of soluble P fertiliser, P-banding and soil testing to guide soil P management ensures effective use of P fertiliser. Progress towards improved P efficiency using pasture legumes with high P-acquisition efficiency is outlined. Development of a ‘whole-of-system’ understanding for effective P acquisition by roots is highlighted.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0075.26
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Options for improving phosphorus acquisition by roots in pastures and arable crops 3 Rhizosphere modifications that improve phosphorus acquisition 4 Understanding the agronomic context in which improved phosphorus acquisition by roots can deliver benefits 5 Critical phosphorus benchmarks for soil phosphorus management 6 Case study: improving the phosphorus efficiency of sheep and beef grassland farming in southern Australia 7 Conclusion and future trends in research 8 Where to look for further information 9 Acknowledgements 10 References

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