Do You Have a Phosphate Bank in Your Soil?

Do You Have a Phosphate Bank in Your Soil?

Do you have a Phosphate Bank?

If you have used Phosphate fertiliser in the past, then the answer to that question will probably be “YES”.

CSIRO research

“It is thought that at best, just 20 per cent of Phosphorus applied by way of fertiliser is available for plant uptake in the year it is applied.

This means, that of the dollars spent applying Super Phosphate at a rate of 250kg per hectare (about 22.5kg of P) often just one tenth of this P (2.25kg) is immediately available to plants.”

It is thought that each hectare of soil may hold up to 400kg of Phosphorus, with less than 4kg immediately available to crops or pasture.”
(Source: CSIRO article, Raiding the Phosphate Bank, 1997).


The first question we need to ask ourselves is “WHY?… why is only a small amount of applied Phosphorus fertiliser available to the plant?”

Perhaps part of the answer is to be found in research carried out by Cooperative Research Centre for Soil and Land Management…. with research showing that the use of high levels of fertiliser can reduce the effectiveness of soil organisms.

High levels of fertiliser reduce soil microbe activity

For example, high Nitrogen inputs reduce Nitrogen fixation and high Phosphorus inputs reduce the beneficial effects of mycorrhizae, which are responsible for the release of Phosphorus.

Nutrient availability

While monitoring soil test results, I have found it quite common to see that the amount of available Phosphate is only a small percentage of the total amount of Phosphorus in the soil. For example, in one soil test, there was 9ppm of available Phosphorus but 214ppm of locked up Phosphorus.

Broad Spectrum Minerals essential

“For maximum response to Phosphatic fertilizers, (such as starter fertilizers or Super) adequate quantities of secondary and trace elements are required.” (Source: Fertiliser Industry Handbook).

Since most fertilisers do not include trace minerals there is an obvious gap in many fertiliser programs.

Soil tests continually show that trace minerals are becoming deficient, meaning that trace minerals may be the weak link in the chain.

Soil minerals depleted

Water soluble fertiliser can give a quick boost to a crop but over decades of farming, our soil has become demineralised. Many farmers now find that they are using increasing amounts of water soluble fertiliser to get the same result.

No overnight fix

It has taken decades for your soil to get to where it is now and we are not here to tell you that the effects of declining soil fertility can be fixed overnight.

We recommend repeat applications of NatraMin to re-build the minerals levels in your soil and to stimulate the activity of soil microbes.

Farmers following our soil management program have found that the use of NatraMin has assisted to release locked-up Phosphorus and other nutrients.

NatraMin contains broad spectrum minerals and trace elements and is formulated to stimulate the biological activity in your soil, helping to address the 3 aspects of soil fertility; Nutritional, Structural and Biological.

Start with a soil test

Soil testing can save you thousands of dollars by preventing the expense of incorrect blends or rates of fertilisers.

So, take the first step to making a change. To arrange for a soil test to be performed, or for a second opinion on an existing soil test, give us a call on 1800 81 57 57.