improved use of plant nutrients. fao soils bulletin no. 37

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    List of Figures

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    1. Problem areas and possibilitiee of r.orsefficient fertilizer useS.A. Barber 7

    2. Fertilization decision model a synthesis ofEvil and nlant parameters in a computerized programmeTi. Kalkafi, B. BarYosef and Aviva Hadas 11

    3. Nitrogen transfonaations and behaviour in soils inrelation to nitrogen availability for cropsG. Stanford 31

    4. Potassium efficiency in tropical and subtropicalconditionsH. Beringer 41

    5. Availability of secondary and micronutriente for cropsM. Sillanpnn 51

    6. Soi/ management with respect to liming, manuring andother soil amendments in East AfricaS.O. Keya 56

    7. Role of soil testing for improved nutrient efficiencyA. Finck 60

    8. Recent research and advances in characterization ofgenotypic differences in ion uptake and ionassimilation efficiencyF. van Egmond 69

    9. Cropping systems for efficient fertilizer useD.J. Greenland 77

    10. Crop performance and soil nutrient potentialO. Talibudeen and M.D. Page 88

    11. Methods of fertilizer application for increasingfertilizer efficiencyJ. Velly 100

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    Present problems of fertilizer use on grain cropsA. Tanaka 114

    The use of isotopes and radiation in studies on theefficient une of fertilizersD.A. Netheinghe 125

    New aspects of fertilizer technology in betterexploitation of plant nutrientsR.C. Horn 135

    1!-). Recent developments in fertili7er technology on nitrogenK. Isemsnn 143

    1 New phosphatio fertilizersJ.R. Ansiaux 145

    APPENDIX I Prograxne 149

    APPENDIX II List of Participants 151


    Potassium uptake by wheat throughout the growing season

    The nitrogen cycle in agriculture

    Recovery of labelled N by oats and two successive crops ofSudan grass and arounts of residual organic N, derived fromfertilizer, remaining in soil al-ter cropping. Adapted fromLegg and Allison (1967). Data represent mean of 12 soils

    Maize grain yields and percentage recovery of applied labelledN in relation to tillage method and N application rate.(Unpublished data 6btained in 1976 from cooperative experimentswith V.A. Bandel) 34

    NO,-N found after 3 successive years of maize on Sharpsburgsift loan as affected by N rate and irrigatim level,following several years of lucerne 34

    Residual nitrate N in root zone before planting in relationto N uptake by irrigated sugarbeet in southern Idaho(Stanford et al 1977) 36

    Long term average maize yield response to applied N fertilizerand residual NO--N in the soil following 10 years of annualN application 36

    Simplified diagram of K dynamics in soil 42

    Dry matter production of consecutive ryegrazs cuts andchanges in K concentration of soil solution (Nemethand Grimme 1974) 44

    Exchangeable K contents after one week of diffusion in asoil at different soil moisture levels in relation todistance from an absorbing surface 45

    Methods for extracting different fractions of availablenutrients (Finck 1970) 61

    Relationship between soil test K and relative yields ofcrops (Cope and ouse 1973) 63

    Relationship between water soluble P in soils and economicoptimim amount of P fertilizer for potatoes in theNetherlands (gis and van Luit 1973) 65

    Nitrogen flow in the plant 70

    Differences between the results of the complete andno-iron treatments 73

    1o. Effect of applied nitrate on the 0H- or H production+

    of the plant 74





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    Effect of soil potasnium potential (cal/mole) on the growthcharacteriatice of perennial ryegrass (S23) in a controlledenvironment. (:, Exhaustion) 2, response; 3, optimum; and4, luxury and to7ic potentials) 89

    Spot injector for granular chemicals (single rod) 110

    Spot injector for granular chemicals (double rod) 110

    Schematic drawing of push-type deep placement applicatorfor granular chemicals. The applicator opens a furrow,deposits the chemical below the soil surface and closesthe furrow 110

    Relation between level of fertilizer application and grainyield of rice (paddy) and maize 116

    Response of maize in grain yield to nitrogen applicationat different plant spacings 117

    Average nitrogen responsen for improved and non-improvedvarieties based on 195 curves, by crop season, 1960-72(IR.R1 1973) 119

    Response of various rice varieties in grain yield to nitrogenapplication (Hokkaido University 1976) 119

    Nitrogen absorption pattern during the growth of riceplants grown on different eoils (Shiga et al. 1976) 121

    Grain yield and amount of nitrogen accumulation in plantsof two soyabean linee at different nitrogen levels 123


    Differences between maize cultivare in the root parametersthat affect nutrient uptake 9

    Dry matter accumulation by maize and phosphate contentduring the firet month of growth in the field, as affectedby soil nitrato and phosphate levels 12

    Effect of soil phosphate level on number of tillers andspikelets and on straw and grain yielde of a seA-dwarfwheat with various levels of nitrogen fertilization 14

    Relation between (A), exchangeable K and (B), K additionson the K concentration in the soil solution of soil typeswith comparable clay content. 43

    Influence of clay content and vegetation on K dynamics insoils of Ghana. Means of 43 samples 46

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    u. Effect of NPK on additional grain yield (t/ha) of flooded ricegrown for five uuccessive years (dry season data, average of3 experiment stations in the Fhilippines and of 3 cultivare) 47

    Mffect of split dressings of K on rice yield and diseaseattack (means of 2 seasons at 3 si-tes) 47

    Relationship between uobility and availability of nutrientforms in coil 61

    Calibration of soil tests for available manganese in Egypt(correlation with Mn content of soyabeans) 64

    Range of soil nutrient status in relation to crop yield andfertilizer requirement 65

    Fertilizer recoveries in continuous wheat and rotationexperiments, Rothaasted, U.K. 78

    Critical SNP values for the growth of various crops at e C(cal/mole) 91

    Critical concentrations and the equivalent cheLical potentials(in parentheses) for the growth of various crops in flowingnutrient culture solutions 92

    Effect of rate and timing of applicatione of urea to rice onlosses of nitrogen from the plant-soil system 101

    Highest country yield, average of top 10 country yields andworld average yield of various grain crops (kg/ha). (Highestof 1972-74) 115

    1o. Amount and efficiency of Absorbed nitrogen relative to grainproduction of three rice varieties (Hokkaido Univ. 1976) 118

    17. Percentage recovery of fertilizer N in Sudan crass asesti:"ated by the difference and N-n isotope methods 128

    lb. Placement of phosphorus - relative effects on the percentaceof P in plants derived from fertilizer (d.f.f.) and froc.:,yield (E) by difference method 129

    Effect of time of application of N to maize on fertilizorN uptake :aeauured by two :Lethods 131

    Percentage uptake of N from fertilizer applied to maizein a band at seeding, measured by two methods 131

    Relative availability of rock phosphate (13:fi; phosphoruspentoxide) and monocalcium phosphate as saurces of Pfor ryezrass during the first month of growth 133

    Comparison of various natural phosphate sources for rice withsuperphosphate as a labelled standard 133


    FAO, in contact with the countries whiCh it serves, has beco.le increasinisr.lyaware of the very considerable locc of plant nutrients which ctill occurs whenthey are appliea to the field, particularly in developing countries.

    With this point in view, FAO organized an Expert Consultatien in April 197/,with participontc fro;., countries consuming both a high and law qumitity of fertilizer,to identify possibilities for a .ore intensive and rational utilization nf thevaluable plant nutrients in mineral and organic fertilizers, with eriphauic onconditions in developing countries. The cenclueions reached chould serve interectedcountries as a guide for follow-41p activitiee in the L.ore rational use of plantnutrients at the research and practical leve/.

    Ihe prograwne of the Consultation included three main sections:

    Soils in relation to the efficiency of fertilizer use; this point dealtwith the quantitative prediction of fertilizer demand, gains endlosses of soil nitrogen and potassiu:.. efficiency under varinus conditionc,and effectc of secondary and hlcro nutrients, soil -anage.:.:ent Poid the roleof soil tecting in i:-proved nutrient efficiency.

    Planta in relation to the efficiency of fertilizer use, includinc ite'sof iron uptake and assim.ilation efficiency, cropping synte_s, methods offertilizer application and the use of isotopes in studiec an the efficientuse uf fertilizers.

    Fertilizer technology dealing with new enpects of coqpounding, coating Paidconditioning and other recent developNente in relation to nitrogen, pheepherasami potaseits fertilizers.

    The 'aorking Groups at the Cunsultation wide a nuber of recornendations andsagcested guidelines under the main headings; research, soil tecting, fertili%erfomulations and cultural practices. Under this itc., the participants wereconvinced that in all these fields there are ctill ample possibilitiee fort..prove_ent and for -.aking the costly and so_etires scarce plant nutrients ;..oreefficient and their use ore ccono:iic.

    This publication in the series of FAO Soils Bulletins ia considered AS ^eaurce of infor.ation and a guide for app


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