Acid Ammonium Citrate as P Extractor for Fertilizers of Varying Solubility
There are several globally accepted methods to chemically characterize P-fertilizers, but not all are suitable to predict the agronomic efficiency of the P sources in terms of plant nutrition. Our aim was to investigate the performance of P extractors for fertilizers, investigating the consistency of different methods for P sources of varying properties and the related plant responses. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse, using corn as a model plant. Phosphorus values extractable in water, 2 % citric acid, 2 % formic acid, ammonium neutral citrate + water, and acid ammonium citrate were evaluated for eight P fertilizers of varied solubility and correlated with P uptake by corn. The extractors citric acid and formic acid recovered no predictive amounts of P from crystalline apatite sources (Araxá and Patos phosphate rocks, PRs). However, they showed a satisfactory performance for Bayóvar PR and partially acidulated PRs but extracted low amounts of P from soluble P sources such as superphosphates. Neutral ammonium citrate + water extractors could accurately predict the efficiency of soluble P sources but underestimated the performance of Bayóvar (a reactive PR). In contrast, the extractor acid ammonium citrate, AAC, (pH 3) accurately predicted the agronomic efficiency of all P fertilizers. We therefore suggest AAC as an effective predictor of the agronomic effectiveness of any inorganic phosphorus sources.