Outlook on fertilizer use efficiency in the tropics


In this paper efficiency of applied fertilizers under tropical conditions is examined. Understanding of the fertilizer efficiency is particularly important for the developing countries mainly because there is need for enhancement of crop yields at a reduced cost. Many of the soil, plant and climatic factors of the tropical regions that contribute to the efficiency of the applied fertilizers have been discussed. Many of the tropical soils are acidic in nature and in these soils efficiency of applied fertilizer is relatively poor, mainly because plant roots are unable to grow and function to their fullest extent in utilizing the soils available nutrients. To enhance yield potentials there is need for understanding of interaction between crop species and soil and climatic variables. Incorporation and adoptation of a suitable application time can greatly enhance efficiency of urea form of nitrogen. Research findings in tropical soils have shown that an initial broadcast application of P and subsequent band treatment is more effective than either method of application alone. Current crop yields in tropical countries are far below the known yield potentials. Such low production potentials are attributed to the lack of suitable crop germplasms and understanding of improved agronomic practices. Intensification of research activities in fertilizer use efficiency in tropical countries is suggested.

DOI: 10.1007/BF01073907

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Cite this paper

@article{Baligar2005OutlookOF, title={Outlook on fertilizer use efficiency in the tropics}, author={VC Baligar and O. L. Bennett}, journal={Fertilizer research}, year={2005}, volume={10}, pages={83-96} }