We have all heard of phosphoric acid at some time, but did you know that it has a very important application in agriculture? That’s right, agricultural phosphoric acid is essential for the proper development of crops.
In this article, we will explain what agricultural phosphoric acid is, what it is for, how and when it is applied and what are its advantages and disadvantages.
What is phosphoric acid and what is it for?
As many of you already know, only water is not enough for plants to grow. They need a correct subscriber, since it is their main power source. Although we sometimes only provide irrigation, the soil in the soil is full of nutrients necessary for vegetables. But this supply also has a limit, and that is when we must use agricultural phosphoric acid, as it is a very rich source of nitrogen. In addition, it is the most used fertilizer to add phosphorus to the crop.
It should be noted that the application of agricultural phosphoric acid is very important in the early stages of plant development to promote rooting and flowering. However, amounts as high as popular beliefs say are not required. When the vegetable notices that it lacks phosphorus, it begins to produce organic acids, such as citrate or malate, to mobilize the retained phosphorus.
In addition, it is important to know that phosphoric acid has corrosive properties, so it can be very useful when it comes to removing salts and organic debris that can clog the droppers.
When and how is agricultural phosphoric acid applied?
As we have already mentioned previously, it is essential for plants to obtain phosphorus for their correct development. However, they need this element in lower concentrations than potassium, calcium or nitrogen. Generally, a crop requires between 50 and 150 kilos of pure phosphorus. Therefore, to calculate the amount according to phosphoric acid, you simply have to divide the amount to be added by 0.52 in the event that your actual concentration of this acid is 52%. In general, the doses for crops, such as vegetables, citrus, subtropical and fruit trees, both stone and pip, are the following: 120-180 liters per hectare (100-150 PFU).
Agricultural phosphoric acid is completely soluble in irrigation water. Its application is usually done during the growth phase of the plants, to prevent phytopathologies, enrich the soil and thus nourish the vegetables. Therefore, it is an ideal product to use when preparing fertilizers and for drip irrigation. It should also be noted that monoammonium phosphate can be obtained from phosphoric acid, widely used in foliar fertilization and in fertigation.
In addition, agricultural phosphoric acid is an excellent pH regulator. However, we must avoid mixing it with products rich in iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Nor is it advisable to apply it in foliar form, unless we reduce the dose to avoid phytotoxic effects. This product is used mainly with irrigation, either by furrows or by dripping.
Advantages and disadvantages
Agricultural phosphoric acid, like almost everything in this world, has its advantages and disadvantages. We are going to comment on the benefits that this product can bring:
- High concentration of water soluble phosphorus.
- Comfortable to use due to its liquid state, and easily injectable in fertigation equipment.
- You can clean the pipes using it in a fertilizer plan and thus avoid the use of nitric acid.
- It only provides phosphorus, no other element that could be harmful depending on the plants and the stage of the crop.
Regarding the disadvantages of agricultural phosphoric acid, we have the following:
- Due to its acidity, it requires special measures when using or transporting it, as it is corrosive.
- You have to watch out for the quality of the product, as sometimes it is not entirely good. On some occasions, phosphoric acid leaves traces on the bottom of the containers.
- It only has phosphorus, an element that is not usually used alone, if not mixed with other nutrients such as nitrogen or potassium.
- It requires some control regarding its use in hydroponics, since it can become too acidic to the injected solution, which would end up affecting the roots of the plants.
- It should not be applied on acid soils, as it would acidify the soil too much.
- It is incompatible with alkaline solutions, sulfates and calcium.
In conclusion we can say that agricultural phosphoric acid is a good and effective option when preparing acidic liquid solutions. The dissolution of a solid element is not required and there is no risk of plugging in the interior of irrigation systems. Although it must be handled with care, it is the perfect solution for farmers.