The effectiveness of six phosphorus sources at 4 rates were tested for two seasons on reddish brown soil at Holetta, Ethiopia, using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and rape (Brassica napus L.) as test crops. The fertilizer sources include: basic slag (BS), bone meal (BM), Ethiopian rock phosphate (ERP), Gafsa rock phosphate (GRP), triple superphosphate (TSP) and mixture of TSP and GRP in the ratio 1:4 (MIX). Yield, P uptake by both crops as well as available soil P showed a marked response to the application of the various P sources. On continuously cropped field, grain yield increase over the unfertilized plot ranged from 2.5 to 16.4 dt ha−1 for barley and rape respectively. On newly cleared field no significant effects of the different P sources on barley were observed. On the other hand for rape, a grain yield increase over the unfertilized plot ranging from 10.6 to 17.8 dt ha−1 was recorded. The highest agronomic effectiveness relative to TSP (RAE) for both crops was obtained with BS. Rape was found to utilize P not only from the reactive rock phosphate (RP) but also from the unreactive one, which had a total P content of only 3% and 0.4% ammonium citrate soluble P. Barley, on the contrary, could not utilize P from this magmatic rock phosphate and failed to grow.