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Phosphorus

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a vital component of DNA, the genetic “memory unit” of all living things. It is also a component of RNA, the compound that reads the DNA genetic code to build proteins and other compounds essential for plant structure, seed yield and genetic transfer. It helps a plant convert other nutrients into usable building blocks with which to grow

Functions of Phosphorus

Stimulates root development
Increases stalk and stem strength
Improves flower formation and seed production
More uniform and earlier crop maturity
Increased nitrogen N-fixing capacity of legumes
Improvements in crop quality
Increased resistance to plant diseases
Supports development throughout entire life cycle

Phosphorus deficiency in animals

Phosphorus deficiency in plants

Poor animal growth and cycling Poor or stunted growth
Downer cows Dull-green or blue green color
Stiff joints, lameness Possible purple coloration on some part of the plant
Low milk Reduced flowering and seed production

Optimizing Phosphorus

You can optimize Phosphorus uptake by using cover crops like buckwheat, oats, winter rye. By stimulating fungal activity in the soil you can make Phosphorus more easily available for plants.

 

Phosphorus as a chemical element

Phosphorus is a chemical element with the symbol P and atomic number 15. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms, white phosphorus and red phosphorus, but because it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth.

Elemental phosphorus was first isolated as white phosphorus in 1669. White phosphorus emits a faint glow when exposed to oxygen – hence the name, taken from Greek mythology, Φωσφόρος meaning “light-bearer” (Latin Lucifer), referring to the “Morning Star”, the planet Venus.