Maximizing Phosphorus Efficiency


The availability of phosphorus is critical during early growth to get corn off to a quick and healthy start because phosphorus:

  • Needs to be available by the V6 growth stage for maximum yield potential
  • Is needed for strong root development
  • Encourages early plant growth for longer grower seasons (drier corn at harvest)

The final grain yield is influenced by tissue phosphorus concentration prior to the V6 growth stage, regardless of the phosphorus supply at later stages.

Dr. Wilcox of Purdue University reported that 5 Ibs/A of phosphorus banded with the seed was equivalent to 20 Ibs/A of phosphorus two inches under the seed.

Source: Solutions Magazine, Sept/Oct 1988


What is orthophosphate and polyphosphate? Orthophosphate fertilizers are immediately available to your corn plants. Plants can only absorb phosphorus in this form.

Polyphosphate fertilizers have to break down to the orthophosphate form, and this conversion takes time. A slow conversion in cold, wet soils hampers nutrient uptake, which can negatively affect yields.  NACHURS liquid fertilizers are 80-100% orthophosphate and are specifically manufactured to be placed directly on the seed!


  • Phosphorus is replaced twice a day or 300 times throughout the growing season
  • Seed placed phosphorus is the most efficient and economical solution for your fertilizer dollars—It is 40 times more concentrated than broadcast phosphorus!
  • Phosphorus will move less than 1/10th of an inch in the soil
  • Crop roots come into contact with approximately 2% of the soil area
  • Soil tests only represent 1-2% of the total phosphorus in the soil 


  • Seed-placed phosphorus is 40 times more efficient than broadcast placement!
  • Seed-placed phosphorus is 4 times more efficient than 2” x 2” placement.
  • 100 gallons of seed-placed starter will plant 20 acres of corn!



  Pounds of P2O5

  Seed Placed

10 pounds

2" x 2"

40 pounds


400 pounds

NACHURS green products are 80% orthophosphate and NACHURS white products are 100% orthophosphate. This means phosphorus is immediately available during critical growing stages. The Fertilizer Institute and independent researchers have found that fertilizers like 7-21-7 and 10-34-0 are up to 70% polyphosphate, which means phosphorous is only 20-30% available to the crop during critical growing stages. Under cool, dry conditions it can take an extended period of time, even weeks, for the polyphosphate to convert to orthophosphate.


“In the soil, polyphosphate converts to orthophosphate by hydrolysis (adding on water). The time required for hydrolysis to occur varies with soil conditions. In come cases, 50% of the polyphosphate hydrolizes to orthophosphate within two weeks. Under cool, dry conditions, hydrolysis may take longer.”

“Some claims have been that polyphosphates will make certain unavailable micronutrients in the soil more available for plant uptake.” ...“it is not likely that such complexes would be available for any significant length of time. Research at Michigan State University and Kansas State University has shown that micronutrient uptake is not enhanced by polyphosphate materials.”

-- MSUE Agricultural Extension Bulletin. N-P-K FERTILIZERS. M.L. Vitosh, Extension Specialist, Crop & Soil Science. 2005.

“Phosphorus enters the plant through root hairs, root tips and the outermost layers of root cells. It is usually taken up as the primary orthophosphate ion (H2PO-4), but can also be absorbed as the secondary orthophosphate (HPO=4).”

-- Potash & Phosphate Institute (PPI). Phosphorus for Agriculture. 1998.

Farmers and fertilizer dealers unfamiliar with NACHURS fertilizers sometimes have difficulty comparing our program to the conventional 7-21-7 and 10-34-0 liquid fertilizer programs. NACHURS fertilizers are manufactured with the highest quality raw materials and was specifically formulated for seed placement and foliar feeding. 7-21-7 and 10-34-0 are not recommended for on-the-seed placement and foliar feeding due to their high salt index or chemical structures. Comparing 7-21-7 and 10-34-0 to NACHURS liquid fertilizers is similar to comparing apples to eggs.

Purdue University research has shown that seed placed phosphorus is at least 4 times more efficient that phosphorus placed 2” x 2”. Seed placed phosphorus is 40 times more efficient than broadcast phosphorus. The Fertilizer Institute and independent researchers have found that fertilizers like 7-21-7 and 10-34-0 are up to 70% polyphosphate, which means its phosphorus is only 20-30% available to the crop during critical growing stages. NACHURS liquid fertilizers are 80-100% orthophosphate, which means they are immediately available during critical growing stages. NACHURS seed placed phosphorus requires lower application rates, less storage, higher yields, better plant quality, and is non-corrosive on equipment. What does this mean to you—MORE PROFITABILITY!


Ortho vs Poly

Phosphorus Placement

  • Most efficient placement
  • Phosphrous placed for maximum plant efficiency
  • Roots are in immediate contact with fertilizer

 2" x 2"  
  • Inefficient placement
  • Roots are not in immediate contact with fertilizer

  • Not efficient

"Plants predominately absorb Phosophorus in the orthophosphate form: H2PO-4."

  • Rendig & Taylor, Mc Graw Hill Publishing. Principles of Soil-Plant Interrelationships.
  • Troch & Thompson. College of Agriculture Iowa State University. Soils and Soil Fertility. Oxford University Press, 5th Edition. 1993.
  • Kluwar Academic Publishers. Fertilizer Manual. 3rd Edition.
  • Western Fertilizer Handbook. 8th Edition. 1995.
  • John Wiley & Sons. Henry Foth. Fundamentals of Soil Science. 6th Edition.
  • Kansas State University. Cooperative Extension Service. October 1988. Pub C-665
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