Mississippi Phosphates Corporation produces diammonium phosphate fertilizer (DAP). In the production of DAP fertilizer, phosphate rock and sulfuric acid manufactured at the plant, or purchased, are combined to form phosphoric acid, which is then mixed with ammonia to produce DAP, a dry granular product.
In its chemical composition, DAP fertilizer is composed of 46 percent phosphorus and 18 percent nitrogen. DAP is one of the most popular phosphate fertilizers with farmers because of its additional nitrogen content. Of the ammoniated phosphate that is produced in the U.S., 98 percent is sold as fertilizer.
Plants cannot survive without phosphorus. They must have a steady supply to complete healthy growth and produce a bountiful harvest. Phosphorus improves crop quality and protects plants against diseases. It helps overcome the effects of cold winter temperatures, drought, and other environmental stresses. Phosphorus also increases crop yields, so farmers can efficiently grow more.
Phosphorus fertilizers are produced almost entirely from phosphate rock. World deposits of phosphate rock are generally of sedimentary origin and were laid down under the ocean in earlier geologic times and later raised above sea level. North African reserves of phosphate rock, concentrated in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, make up a majority of the world's phosphate reserves.
The element phosphorus (P) is present in every living cell, both plant and animal. Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral nutrient in the human body, surpassed only by calcium. It makes up about one percent of total body weight. Nearly 80 percent of the phosphorus in humans is found in the bones and teeth. The remainder is widely distributed throughout the body in combination with proteins, fats, and salts in every living cell.
As world population grows, the demand for food increases. The phosphorus fertilizer industry was developed to provide a supplement to the soil so that plants can have the nutrition they require to grow the food we eat. Farmers have learned that phosphorus fertilizers are essential tools to supplement and protect the soil's productive capacity.