If you want to know about the uses of DAP fertilizer, you will love this detailed guide.
But first, you should know that fertilizer is a chemical substance provided to the crops. As a result, the crop yield (growth) also increases due to increased productivity.
Now, let me introduce the topic to you in detail.
What is DAP Fertilizer?
You should know that the DAP fertilizer is also called Di-ammonium phosphate (NH4)2HPO4. Here’s what it contains:
- 18% Nitrogen
- 46% Phosphorus.
Over here, you should note that DAP is manufactured by reacting phosphoric acid with ammonia (under controlled conditions). Can you guess the equation for this reaction?
Quick fact: Do you know that the DAP fertilizer was found and became available for farmers in the 1960s?
Now, let’s move on to the next topic.
Uses of DAP Fertilizer:
- It is used for the development and growth of flowering plants or leafy plants.
Let me explain this to you.
Recall the amount of Phosphorous in DAP (Di-ammonium phosphate) fertilizer. Phosphorus leads to good bud development and blooming in plants.
Note that bud is the “undeveloped” shoot and contains undifferentiated cells. So the bud cells later undergo cell division.
In simple words, this is something that develops as the plant grows. Now let’s talk about blooming.
Bloom (a flower) is a part of the plants’ epidermis (outermost structure of plants). Can you guess what causes blooming in plants?
This process allows pollinators (transfers pollen) to be attracted to the flowering plant. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
- It is dust-free, free-flowing and does not give storage problems.
In terms of transport, a large amount of fertilizer can be delivered in granular conditions. Plus, it can be stored for a long time as well.
For your knowledge, let me tell you some of the storage problems related to fertilizers.
Due to moisture absorption, the nutrient loss can occur in fertilizers. Therefore, we usually select a clean, watertight, well-ventilated room for fertilizer storage.
- It contains 90% water-soluble Phosphorus.
This plays a vital role in early root development. Note that DAP produces HPO4 when it is dissolved in water. So this is how the roots take up nutrients from the soil.
But since the uptake of HPO4 is slow, fixation losses can occur. In simple words, fixation loss means that not all phosphorus is available to be used by the plant.
The reason is that at high pH, calcium reacts with phosphorus to make calcium phosphate. This causes fixation as calcium phosphate cannot be used by the plant directly.
Here’s something interesting about phosphorus.
It is also important in the development of the shoot system, energy transfer and cell division.
- DAP fertilizer is basic (alkaline) in nature as its pH varies from 7.8 to 8.2.
This means that this fertilizer can be suitable for neutral and acidic soils. But here’s something interesting. When applied to the soil, DAP temporarily increases the pH of the soil.
- As we discussed above, it is also a source of nitrogen for plants. Here’s why nitrogen is important for plants.
You should know that nitrogen is a major component (part) of chlorophyll (a pigment that helps plants to make their food). Plus, it is also a part of amino acids, the “building blocks of proteins”.
In the same way, nitrogen promotes the lush growth of leaves and stems. This is because of the perfect ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in the DAP fertilizer.
- The plants become less likely to be harmed by pests.
Generally, as the plant gets stronger, it is less likely to be harmed by pests (organisms that destroy plants).
As fertilizers improve crop yield, they become stronger and are less likely to be affected by pests. What do you think about this? Do let me know in the comments below.
- The yield is stable and predictable.
Can you guess why this is so?
Fertilizers in general make the crop yield predictable. This is because the farmers can apply the correct amount of fertilizer, following the yield last year.
In simple words, a better plan can make the crop yield more stable. This can lead to a higher income in the longer run.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Summary: The DAP fertilizer is used for the development and growth of flowering plants or leafy plants. The high amount of Phosphorus is good for bud development and blooming. It is also a source of Nitrogen for plants.
So these were some uses of DAP fertilizer. With this, it is time to move on to the next topic.
How to apply DAP fertilizer?
This is something that a lot of people struggle with.
But here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply the DAP fertilizer.
- It is applied early to provide phosphorus to the plant.
You can apply Di-ammonium phosphate early to provide nutrients such as phosphorus for the initial root development of the plant. But this can also vary.
Generally, it is applied at the time of sowing in summers. In autumn, it is applied for tilling.
Note that tilling is the process of preparing the soil. Due to this process, air and moisture enter the soil, and seeds germinate. This encourages root growth and controls weed growth as well.
Now might be wondering, how much fertilizer should I use?
- According to sources, farmers in Asia use around 40 kg of DAP per acre. A second application of 20 kg to meet the requirement can also be applied.
But let’s start on a smaller scale.
For the best development of your plant, you should apply 1 grain of DAP to a 1-inch pot.
Let’s say that the diameter of the pot in which your plant is growing is 10 inches. Then, you should use 10 grains of fertilizer.
When using it with water, you should use 1 gram of DAP per litre of water.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
The point is that this can vary as well. Usually, the DAP merges into the ground in six days. So the amount of fertilizer you add can vary due to conditions such as weather as well.
- In flower beds and borders, apply it by hand. Then scratch it into the soil.
Note that you can also use a mechanical spreader in open areas. Then make sure to wash the granules off the foliage (leaves).
As I mentioned above, add water after applying the fertilizer. It is necessary to active them.
Now, let’s talk about some disadvantages of the DAP fertilizer.
Disadvantages of DAP Fertilizer:
- It can “burn” stems and leaves if the required amount exceeds.
So you should be very careful when applying it.
- In alkaline soil, DAP decreases micronutrient availability due to fixation.
This means that Phosphate can decrease the availability of iron, copper and zinc for the crops.
This is because it produces HPO4 when dissolved in water. Uptake is slow hence more fixation losses occur.
- It requires moisture to break down so that the plants can use its nutrients.
In the same way, it can damage the roots if left in dry soil.
- DAP may affect seed germination, especially in sandy soils.
This is due to its ammoniacal environment. Note that a fertilizer alkaline in nature is not recommended for sandy and alkaline soils.
- It can disturb your soil composition.
When applied to calcareous soil (have high carbonate content), the reaction products are insoluble in water.
These products then deposit in the upper root zone. You should know that the root zone is the terminal through which the plant takes up the required resources.
Simple, isn’t it?
FAQ’s about DAP Fertilizer:
Can we mix urea with DAP?
Yes, you can mix urea with DAP.
Note that fertilizers can be mixed if they are made of similar materials. For example, you can mix two granular fertilizers, and then spread them over your plant.
There are some exceptions to it as well. But not that super phosphates and ammonium phosphates should not be mixed with lime, slag or rock.
What are the disadvantages of DAP?
As I mentioned above, overuse can “burn” your plant. It can decrease micronutrient availability due to fixation as well.
It may affect seed germination, especially in sandy soils.
Can DAP be used for vegetables?
Yes, you can use it to grow vegetables.
This is because it provides Phosphorus and Nitrogen for plant nutrition. As we discussed above, Phosphorus is vital for root development.
Which is better NPK or DAP?
DAP (Di-ammonium phosphate) has no potassium while NPK contains potassium as well.
Both are useful for agriculture in their way. Note that DAP provides more Phosphorus than NPK. But, it can affect the pH of the soil as well.
With this, our topic about the uses of DAP fertilizer has come to an end.
To recap, DAP stands for Di-ammonium phosphate. It contains 18% nitrogen and 46% phosphorus. Now I turn it over to you.
Which part of this topic did you enjoy reading the most? Is it about the application of DAP fertilizer? Do let me know in the comments below.
In this article, we covered the advantages and disadvantages of DAP fertilizer as well. Thank you for reading and staying with me till the end.
Stay tuned for more.