What is DAP fertilizer and how does it help Indian farmers?

What is DAP fertilizer

DAP fertilizer full form is Diamonimum Phosphate which is the widely used fertilizer by the farmers. It is high in nutritional value and is popular among the farmers.

The ammonium phosphate fertilizer was first made available in the year 1960. Phosphoric acid reacts with ammonia to form a hot slurry which is then cooled to get the granulated products. The nutrient value stands at relatively high grade at 18-46-0

For making the Diammonium phosphate fertilizer of 1-ton capacity it requires 1.5 to 2 tons of phosphate rock, 0.4 tons of sulfur to dissolve the rock, and approximately 0.2 ton of ammonia.

The DAP is an excellent source of phosphate and nitrogen. DAP has an alkaline pH and suspend in soil quickly to release phosphate and ammonium for the plants.

The DAP must not be used to close to the roots as the release of the ammonium can damage the seedlings and the plant roots, and damage occurs when the pH is higher than 7. DAP is an excellent source of Nitrogen that will gradually be converted into nitrate by the soil bacteria so a rise in pH is the temporary effect. The differences in the DAP and Monoammonium phosphate is minor or no difference in plant growth and yield due to Phosphorous source with proper management

DAP is also used on bush fires and other forest fires as a fire-retardant. This becomes a nutrient source after the fire is suppressed. The diagram below shows the chemical formula and its chemical structure.

chemical properties and agriculture use


DAP fertilizer uses – Top DAP fertilizer benefits across India 

India is the most populous country next to China. The fertilizer consumption has grown from 0.78 metric tons in 1965-66 to 25.58 mt in 2012-2013 and the food grains production has increased from 72.35 metric tons to 255.36 metric tons.

The factors affecting the fertilizer consumption and the food yield are as follows,

  • Soil characteristics – A soil analysis test must be carried out and the fertilizer use depends on the soil characteristics. The doses of the fertilizers depend on soil fertility and are determined by soil analysis tests.
  • Irrigation and Rainfall – The usage of the fertilizers also depends on the southwest monsoon that occurs in June till September. If the rainfall is more the fertilizer used is also more and vice versa. 
  • Improved and quality seeds – If the seeds used are high growth and high yielding, the fertilizer requirement is more.
  • Crop type – The type of crop grown also influences the use of fertilizers. For example, the use of fertilizers is more when the crops grown are vegetables, fruits, tea, sugarcane, and tobacco when compared to pulses and cereals.
  • Credit availability – The purchasing power of the farmers is very less in India. So if they get credit facilities from the financial institutions then they have a high probability of purchasing the fertilizers.
  • Fertilizer price – The average share of the fertilizer is 20% of the total cost of cultivation. If there is a steep increase in the fertilizer price and not having enough subsidies may result in a steep fall in the consumption of the fertilizers.
  • Output Price – If the output prices are more for the crops cultivated then farmers do not mind using the fertilizers.

The benefits of DAP fertilizers are as follows,

  • High yield
  • High in nutrients value
  • Does not have side effects as it is broken down by the soil bacteria
  • The high content of Nitrogen and Phosphorous needed for the plants is provided by DAP
  • Cost-effective and high growth in plants brings in high profits

DAP fertilizer composition

The DAP is diammonium phosphate and its composition is 18% nitrogen and P2O5 is 46%

How to use DAP fertilizer 

The DAP is having a rich source of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. The water-soluble fertilizers need to be applied to the soil in specific conditions after analyzing the soil fertility by the soil analysis test. It is recommended that 100 pounds of DAP fertilizers be used per acre. 

Spring applications are favored when compared to fall applications.

The dry granules of DAP fertilizers are soluble in water. 3 to 8 months of controlled release design gives plants a steady flow of nutrients. That is DAP need not be applied throughout the growing season.

The other applications of DAP are as a fire retardant, metal finishing, yeast formation in wine and in cheese to help their cultures

DAP fertilizer chart price 

DAP Fertilizers wholesale prices
Serial# Fertilizer Name  Firm Name Price (Unit in rupees / 50 Kg bag)
1 DAP – 18:46:00 Zuari 1127.5
2 DAP – 18:46:00 RCF 1125
3 DAP – 18:46:00 KRIBHCO 1125
4 DAP – 18:46:00 SPIC 1136.5
5 DAP – 18:46:00 IPL 1125
6 DAP – 18:46:00 MCF 1131
7 DAP – 18:46:00 CFL 1125
8 DAP – 18:46:00 IFFCO 1125


Difference between DAP and NPK fertilizer

Serial # Categories DAP NPK
1 Acronym Diammonium Phosphate  Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium
2 Composition 18% Nitrogen and P2O5 46% NPK composition are as, 10:26:26, 12:32:16 and 20:20:0
3 Production Method Phosphoric acid Ammonia is reacted in a controlled environment Imported potash is used to produce NPK.
4 Average cost Rupees 1127.5 for 50 Kg bag Rupees 650 for 50 kg bag depends on the composition ratio
5 Side effects It slightly increases the soil alkalinity  It does not increase soil acidity


Final recommendation 

DAP has many benefits for the farmers, it must be used in a consistent way to reap benefits. As highlighted above the usage depends on various parameters and the most important parameters are soil fertility, so the farmers are recommended to do the soil analysis tests before using DAP. It produces good grades and quality products when the DAP is used in a sustained, consistent, and calculated way.