How is phosphorus used in agriculture?


Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Phosphorus is used in agriculture as one of the elements found in fertilizer. It is usable in the form of phosphoric acid. It can be made by adding phosphate rock with a 20 percent Phosporus concentration dissolved with nitric acid to make phosphoric acid and calcium nitrate. Combined with a potassium fertilizer, it makes a compound fertilizer that is easy for plants to obtain their necessary nutrients from. Organic fertilizers containing the element phosphorus can be obtained from using animal manure, composts and sewage sludge. Phosphorus, a nutrient found in healthy soil is needed for plants to grow properly. Today, many crop yields can be attributed to the use of fertilizers. Fertilizers contain six macronutrients  which are needed in larger quantities by plants--nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur. They also have the micronutrients--boron, chlorine, copper, iron, maganese, molybdenum and zinc that are needed in smaller quantities.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial