IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Scientific abstracts

Over-Fertilization Does Not Build Soil Test Phosphorus and Potassium in Ohio
Fulford, A.M., and S.W. Culman
Published in:
Agron. J. 110(1):56-65 (2018), English


Appropriate P and K fertilizer recommendations for corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [(Glycine max (L.) Merr.] in Ohio are essential, as water quality and nutrient management issues in the region have intensified over the last several years. The objectives of this study were to: (i) evaluate corn and soybean grain yield response to P and K fertilization, (ii) examine soil test phosphorus (STP) and potassium (STK) and corn Leaf P and Leaf K trends, and (iii) compare the ability of soil and leaf tissue testing to reflect corn and soybean response to fertilization. We evaluated three P and K fertilizer rates, no fertilizer (0×), an estimated nutrient removal rate (1×), and twice the estimated nutrient removal rate (2×), in corn-soybean rotations at three sites over 9 yr. Grain yield was generally non-responsive to P and K fertilization, with only 9 of 42 site-years yielding significantly positive responses. Soil test P and K started in the maintenance range, but significantly declined with the 1× rate at two of three sites for P and at all sites for K. Furthermore, the 2× rate of P and K failed to build STP and STK at any site, with significant declines at one site. The results revealed an inability to maintain initial STP and STK levels with the 1× rate and call into question the suitability of current fertilizer P and K recommendations aimed at maintaining STP and STK. These recommendations require updating to better reflect fertilizer needs of modern corn and soybean.

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