Spreader in field

Functions of Phosphorus

August 14, 2023 3:18 p.m.

Phosphorus is an important component of plant development, with the most critical period being early in the growing season. If there is not an adequate amount of phosphorus available to the corn plant, signs of a deficiency will often present themselves when the plant is 24-30 inches tall. When phosphorus is present however, the nutrient will move to areas where the most energy is required. For example, in a corn plant the phosphorus would move from old plant tissue to young or actively growing areas where the energy is needed to form seeds and fruit.

Overall, phosphorus supports a lot of different of processes in the plant including:

  • Stimulating the development of roots. Strong roots allow the root system to store food and nutrients for the plant that was produced by photosynthesis and absorb water and dissolved minerals from the plant. The roots also provide an anchor for the plant to stand firmly in the ground.
  • Strengthening of the stalk and stem. The primary function of the stalk and stem is to transport nutrients and water to and from the leaves in the plant. Additionally, the stalk and stem are the support to the plant standing up right. Having a strong stalk is crucial for plant functions and easy of harvest.
  • Improving seed production and flower formation. Seed production and flower formation is the start to high producing plants. Allowing the plant to kick start the process will make the ultimate difference in yield in the end.
  • Encouraging earlier crop maturity. Crops that mature earlier have the potential to produce a higher field.
  • Helping plants achieve more uniform production and consistent quality. These boosted standards result in higher average yields on farms with less variation, resulting in greater profitability for the grower.
  • Promoting healthier plants and disease resistance. Diseases have a significant impact on yield and quality of grain affecting the growers ROI at the end of the day. Non-deficient plants can be less impacted by diseases when exposed.

Because phosphorus plays a role in numerous functions of the plant, it is helpful to ensure the nutrient is always available to the plant. 

CHS agronomy created a broadcast fertilizer additive, Trivar, specifically for broadcast phosphorus application. Trivar, powered by the Levesol chelate, safeguards growers’ fertilizer investment by mobilizing phosphorus and other nutrients with three modes of action. Learn more at chsagronomy.com/trivar and consider using Trivar with your phosphorus applications.