Little information is available in literature on Cd uptake by crops from either phosphate rock (PR) or partially acidulated PR (PAPR). The purpose of this greenhouse experiment was to study the effect of acidulation of two PRs having high Cd content (highly reactive North Carolina PR and low-reactive Togo PR) on Cd uptake by upland rice. The degrees of acidulation with H2SO4 were 100% for North Carolina PR (NC-single superphosphate [SSP]) and 50% or 100% for Togo-PR (i.e., Togo PAPR or Togo-SSP). Separation of the confounding effect between P uptake and Cd uptake from various P sources was made by adding 200 mg P/kg as KH2PO4 to all the treatments. Rates of Cd added from various P sources were 50–400 µg Cd/kg. Upland rice (Oryza sativa L.) was grown on two acid soils (Hartsells, pH 5.0 and Waverly, pH 5.6) to maturity.
The results show that Cd uptake by rice grains followed the order of NC-SSP > NC-PR and Togo SSP > Togo PAPR > Togo PR. The results also showed that most of the Cd uptake was retained in rice roots and straw. Total uptake of Cd, Ca, and P by rice plant (root, straw, and grain) was higher from NC-PR than from Togo-PR. Cd concentration in rice grains showed no significant difference between NC-PR and Togo-PR, whereas Cd concentrations in root and straw were higher with NC-PR than that with Togo-PR. There was a significant relationship between total Cd uptake by rice plant and Cd extracted by DTPA from soils treated with various P sources at 400 µg Cd/kg.