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Response of sorghum to fertilizer phosphorus and its residual value in a Vertisol

Abstract

The response of crops to added P in Vertisols is generally less predictable than in other soil types under similar agroclimatic conditions. Very few studies have considered the residual effects of P while studying responses to fresh P applications. Field experiments were conducted for three years to study the response of sorghum to fertilizer P applied at 0, 10, 20 and 40 kg P ha−1, and its residual value in a Vertisol, very low in extractable P (0.4 mg P kg−1 soil), at the ICRISAT Center, Patancheru (near Hyderbad), India. In order to compare the response to fresh and residual P directly in each season, a split-plot design was adopted. One crop of sorghum (cv CSH6) was grown each year during the rainy season (June-September).

The phenology of the sorghum crop and its harvest index were greatly affected by P application. The days to 50% flowering and physiological maturity were significantly reduced by P application as well as by the residues of fertilizer P applied in the previous season. In the first year of the experiment, sorghum grain yield increased from 0.14 t (no P added) to 3.48 t ha−1 with P added at the rate of 40 kg P ha−1. Phosphorus applied in the previous year was 58% as effective as fresh P but P applied two years earlier was only 18% as effective as fresh P.

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Sahrawat, K.L., Rego, T.J., Burford, J.R. et al. Response of sorghum to fertilizer phosphorus and its residual value in a Vertisol. Fertilizer Research 41, 41–47 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00749519

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Key words

  • grain yield
  • harvest index
  • P on phenology
  • P uptake
  • Sorghum bicolor