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Mayuki Tanaka, Robert Snyder, John K. Boateng, William J. Lamont, Michael D. Orzolek, Kathleen M. Brown, and Jonathan P. Lynch

The utility of alumina-buffered phosphorus (Al-P) fertilizers for supplying phosphorus (P) to bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in soils with low-P availability was evaluated. Plants were grown at low-P fertility (about 100 kg·ha–1, low-P control; LPC), with conventional P fertilization (205-300 kg·ha–1 annually, fertilizer control; FC), or with one of two Al-P sources (Martenswerke or Alcoa) in 2001–03. The two Al-P fertilizers were applied in 2001; no additional material was applied in 2002-03. Plants grown with Martenswerke Al-P had similar shoot dry weight, root dry weight, root length, leaf P concentration, and fruit yield compared with plants grown with conventional P fertilizer in both 2002 and 2003 seasons. Bell pepper grown with Alcoa Al-P had similar shoot dry weight, root dry weight, root length, leaf P concentration, and fruit yield compared with plants grown without P fertilizer in both seasons. Alcoa Al-P continuously released bioavailable P for 2 years between 2001 and 2002, while Martenswerke Al-P continuously released bioavailable P at least 3 years between 2001 and 2003. These results indicate that some formulations of Al-P can serve as long-term P sources for field vegetable production.

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Kevin W. Frank, Roch E. Gaussoin, Jack D. Fry, Michael D. Frost, and James H. Baird

Field studies were conducted in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma in 1996 to evaluate the influence of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) applied alone or in combination on the establishment rate of buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] from seed. `Cody' buffalograss burrs were planted at 98 kg·ha-1. Nitrogen was applied at 0 or 49 kg·ha-1 at planting and at 49 kg·ha-1 weekly or every other week for 5 weeks after seeding (WAS). The total N amounts applied were 0, 49, 147, or 294 kg·ha-1. Phosphorus and K were applied at rates of 0 or 49 kg·ha-1 at planting only. Percent buffalograss coverage ratings were taken weekly for up to 11 WAS. Buffalograss coverage was enhanced by N rates up to 147 kg·ha-1. Application of P improved buffalograss establishment at the Nebraska and Oklahoma sites but had no effect at the Kansas site. Potassium application had no influence on establishment at any site. Chemical names used: methyl 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)-amino]carbonyl]amino] sulfonyl]benzoate (metsulfuron methyl); 6-chloro-N,-diethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (simazine)

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Joseph M. Kemble and Elizabeth A. Guertal

In 1994, a study was conducted in Crossville, Ala., to determine if differences in leaf P concentration and crop yield occurred when P was applied as either a broadcast or banded treatment. Phosphorus (0, 34, 67, 101, and 134 kg·ha–1) was banded (2 × 2) or broadcast applied and incorporated before planting. Other nutrients were applied based on current recommendations and soil testing. As level of P increased from 0 to 134 kg·ha–1, fresh weight of harvested ears increased quadratically. There was no difference in fresh weight of harvested ears between banding and broadcasting. Yields were not maximized within the range of applied P, although it seems that yield reaches a plateau near the highest rate of applied P. Percent of P in corn ear leaves did not differ among treatments. There was no difference in P leaf concentrations between the banded and broadcast treatments, indicating that response in yield occurred due to rate of P application, not method.

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Rizwan Maqbool, David Percival, Qamar Zaman, Tess Astatkie, Sina Adl, and Deborah Buszard

(visual observation). Fig. 1. Response surface of stem length (cm): ( A ) the effect of nitrogen (kg·ha −1 N) and phosphorus (kg·ha −1 P) for potassium fixed at 30 kg·ha −1 K and ( B ) the effect of phosphorus (kg·ha −1 P) and potassium (kg·ha −1 K

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George Hochmuth, Pete Weingartner, Chad Hutchinson, Austin Tilton, and Dwight Jesseman

Phosphorus (P) fertilization studies were conducted on four commercial farms and at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Hastings Research and Education Center in Hastings. All sites were in the potato (Solanum tuberosum) production area of northeastern Florida. Preplant Mehlich-1 soil test P was very low at one commercial site and very high at the other four sites. The yield of marketable size A tubers, the desired tuber category, did not respond to P fertilization from 0 to 66 lb/acre (74.0 kg·ha-1) of P at any site. The average yield across all sites was 324 cwt/acre [16.2 ton/acre (36.3 t·ha-1)]. Leaf-P concentration at midseason did not respond to P fertilization. Leaf-P concentration averaged 0.38%, which was sufficient for potato. Potato tuber specific gravity averaged 1.075 and responded slightly to P fertilization only at one site.

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Regina R. Melton and Robert J. Dufault

Tomato (L.ycopersicon esculentum Mill.) seedlings were nutritionally conditioned with solutions containing factorial combinations of N at 25, 75, and 225 mg·liter -1, P at 5, 15, and 45 mg·liter-1, and K at 25, 75, and 225 mg·liter -1 to determine the effect of nutritional regimes on tomato transplant growth and quality. As N increased from 25 to 225 mg·liter-1, fresh shoot weight, plant height, stem diameter, leaf number, leaf area, shoot and root dry weights, and total chlorophyll increased. Nitrogen accounted for the major source of variation. Phosphorus effects were significant only in 1988; Pat 45 mg·liter-1 increased fresh shoot weight, plant height, stem diameter, leaf number, and leaf area in comparison to 5 and 15 mg·liter -1. Potassium did not significantly influence any of the growth variables measured in the study. For quality transplant production, nutrient solutions should contain at least N at 225 mg·liter-1, P at 45 mg·liter-1, and K at 25 mg·liter-1.

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Warren Roberts

Corn planted to originally acidic grassland soils with a low phosphorus (P) content and fertilized at normal rates produced low yields. A factorial study was designed with three application methods (banded, broadcast, tilled) at four rates (34, 67, 101, 134 kg/ha) P2O5. Sweet corn (Zea mays (L.) was planted in double rows on raised beds (0.9 m wide, 1.8 m centers) with 30 cm spacing in and between rows. Most yield parameters increased linearly with increasing rates of P. Banded P produced best yields, but growth was variable between the two double rows per bed. In a second study, P2O5 ranging from 0 to 403 kg/ha was applied by conventional methods. There was a positive response of most yield parameters to increasing rates of P. In a third study, soil plugs (2 cm diam., 10 cm depth) were removed 5 cm to the side of each plant. Rates of P2O5 ranging from 0 to 202 kg/ha were placed in the plugs. Yield responded positively to increasing rates of P. P applied in the plugs produced yield responses similar to P applied conventionally.

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B.R. Gardner and C.A. Sanchez

Lettuce is planted in the southwestern U.S. desert from September through December and harvested from November through April each year. During this period mean soil temperatures range from 7 to 30C. Lettuce produced on desert soils shows a large yield response to P. Soil solution P is replenished by desorption from the labile soil P fraction and this process is temperature sensitive. A field study was conducted over 6 years to evaluate the response of lettuce to soil solution P levels under different ambient soil temperature regimes. The soil temperatures under which lettuce was grown were varied each year by altering planting dates. Soil solution P levels were established and maintained each season using P sorption isotherm methodology. Lettuce responded to P in all experiments. Phosphorus levels required for maximum yield varied with each experiment. Soil P levels required for optimal yield were best correlated to mean soil temperatures during the last 20 days before harvest. Lettuce accumulates over 70% of its P during the heading stage of development and it is likely that during this period of rapid growth and nutrient uptake, solution P becomes limiting when soil temperatures are cool.

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Kristian Borch, Kathleen B. Evensen, and Jonathan Lynch

Impatiens (Impatiens × hybrida `Impulse Orange'), and marigold (Tagetes × hybrida `Janie Tangerine') plants grown under low phosphorus were more resistant to drought stress than plants grown with a conventional, high-P fertilization program. Low concentrations of P were supplied using alumina-buffered P incorporated into the peat media. Alumina was charged with two levels of P, giving two levels of P-desorption. The alumina-buffered P amendment amounted to 2% by volume of the medium. Control plants (high-P treatment) were fertilized with a nutrient solution containing a P concentration of 1.5 mm. Phosphorous leaching was reduced by 96% to 99.4% in the low-P treatments compared with controls. Low-P plants showed no signs of P deficiency or aluminum toxicity. Impatiens plant diameter was significantly reduced by low-P fertilization, and leaf area was reduced by low P in both species. In marigold plants, roots were confined to a small volume beneath the drip tube in high-P plants, while in low-P plants they were well distributed through the medium. Impatiens roots showed no obvious differences in root distribution. Plants at the marketing stage were exposed to drought. The low-P plants of both species wilted more slowly and recovered more quickly when irrigated than the high-P controls. The reduced leaf area on the low-P plants may account for the improvement in drought tolerance.

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Brent K. Harbaugh, David A. DeVoll, and R. Zalewski

Phosphorus is considered a major pollutant of lakes in central Florida, and growers producing crops in the Lake Okeechobee watershed are being challenged to reduce use of P fertilizer. Caladium (Caladium×hortulanum Birdsey) tubers are produced on organic soils within this area. This study was done to determine if current commercial P fertilization rates could be reduced or eliminated, since these organic soils have high levels of water extractable P (Pw). Two farms were selected with low (Farm A 19 lb/acre; 21 kg·ha-1) or high (Farm B 59 lb/acre; 66 kg·ha-1) preplant Pw levels. Production of caladium tubers with the standard grower P fertilization practice (Farm A = P at 39.2 lb/acre; 43.9 kg·ha-1, or Farm B = P at 15.9 lb/acre; 17.8 kg·ha-1) was compared to production with either one-half the standard grower rate of P or no P. The percentage of harvested tubers in each of five grades and the estimated harvested tuber value index were similar irrespective of the amount of P fertilizer used on either farm. These results indicate that P could be eliminated from the fertilization program for caladium tuber production on organic soils.