The amount of phosphorus (P) accumulated by vegetable crops is relatively small compared to nitrogen and potassium. However, large amounts of P fertilizer are often required for optimal yield and quality. Typically P added to soils is quickly converted to unavailable forms resulting in low crop utilization efficiencies. These low P uptake efficiencies have long been of economic concern and a major focus of agronomic and horticultural research. Additionally, in certain regions where crop production areas are hydrologically linked to wetland ecosystems, P fertilization is also of environmental concern. This presentation will summarize important P soil transformations, biotic and abiotic factors influencing the availability of P to crops, and P fertilizer management strategies for improved crop utilization efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
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