A composition is disclosed for providing phosphate fertilizer to the root zone of plants. The composition comprises a microorganism capable of producing and secreting a solubilization agent, a carbon source for providing raw material for the microorganism to convert into the solubilization agent, and rock phosphate ore for providing a source of insoluble phosphate that is solubilized by the solubilization agent and released as soluble phosphate. The composition is provided in a physical form, such as a granule, that retains the microorganism, carbon source, and rock phosphate ore, but permits water and soluble phosphate to diffuse into the soil. A method of using the composition for providing phosphate fertilizer to plants is also disclosed.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under contract number DE-AC07-76ID01570 between the U.S. Department of Energy and EG&G Idaho, Inc., now contract number DE-AC07-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.