Phosphate (P) helps provide cell structure and cell membrane integrity, and enables cell division and growth. Plants also need phosphate for the transfer of genetic code, seed development and all energy reactions.
It’s critical that growers apply phosphate fertilizer early in the season, as this nutrient promotes root development, early flowering and uniform ripening.
Proper phosphate application also leads to early canopy closure, reduced surface moisture loss and increased weed competition. In addition, adequate phosphate is needed for a full response to nitrogen fertilizer, and vice-versa – nutrients work in tandem to provide the fullest benefit, which is why balanced fertility is so important.