, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 35-44

Interaction of urea with triple superphosphate in a simulated fertilizer band

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Abstract

Fertilizer nutrient diffusion from fertilizer bands and transformations in soil can affect fertilizer nutrient availability to crops and knowledge of the transformations is necessary for proper management. The interaction of urea and triple superphosphate (TSP) on urea hydrolysis and P transformations during diffusion processes from a fertilizer band was evaluated in a laboratory incubation experiment with two eastern Canadian soils (Ste Rosalie clay, Modifiers Typic Humaquept, pH 5.0; Ormstown silty clay loam, Modifiers Typic Humaquept, pH 6.0). Two fertilizer sources (urea and TSP) and three N and P rates (0, 100 and 200 kg ha−1) were combined in a factorial arrangement. Fertilizer combinations were placed on segmented soil columns, incubated and segments were analyzed for N and P content. Acidification from dissolution of TSP retarded urea hydrolysis, and curtailed the rise in soil pH surrounding the fertilizer band. Urea hydrolysis caused dissolution of organic matter in soils, which might inhibit precipitation of insoluble phosphates. Banding urea with TSP increased 1M KCl extractable soil P, soil solution P, sorbed P concentration and total P diffused away from the band. Urea decreased 0.01M CaCl2 extractable P, indicating probable precipitation of calcium phosphates with CaCl2 extraction. Banding urea with TSP could benefit P diffusion to plant roots in low Ca soils and increase fertilizer P availability.