DAP Fertilizer vs. MAP Fertilizer

What's the Difference?

DAP (Diammonium phosphate) and MAP (Monoammonium phosphate) are two commonly used fertilizers in agriculture. Both fertilizers provide essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus to plants, promoting healthy growth and increased yields. However, there are some differences between the two. DAP contains higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorus compared to MAP, making it a more balanced fertilizer. It is also more soluble in water, allowing for quicker absorption by plants. On the other hand, MAP has a lower pH, making it more suitable for alkaline soils. Additionally, MAP is less hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs less moisture from the air, making it easier to handle and store. Ultimately, the choice between DAP and MAP depends on the specific needs of the soil and crops being cultivated.


AttributeDAP FertilizerMAP Fertilizer
CompositionDiammonium PhosphateMonammonium Phosphate
Nutrient ContentContains nitrogen and phosphorusContains nitrogen and phosphorus
Nitrogen Percentage18%11%
Phosphorus Percentage46%22%
Granule SizeVaries, typically largerVaries, typically smaller
ApplicationUsed for crops requiring high phosphorus levelsUsed for crops requiring balanced nitrogen and phosphorus levels

Further Detail


Fertilizers play a crucial role in modern agriculture by providing essential nutrients to plants, promoting healthy growth, and maximizing crop yields. Among the various types of fertilizers available, DAP (Diammonium Phosphate) and MAP (Monoammonium Phosphate) are two commonly used phosphorus-based fertilizers. While both DAP and MAP serve the same purpose of supplying phosphorus to plants, they differ in their chemical composition, nutrient content, and application methods. In this article, we will explore the attributes of DAP and MAP fertilizers, highlighting their similarities and differences.

Chemical Composition

DAP fertilizer is composed of diammonium phosphate, which is a compound formed by the reaction of ammonia and phosphoric acid. It has a chemical formula of (NH4)2HPO4. On the other hand, MAP fertilizer consists of monoammonium phosphate, which is formed by the reaction of ammonia and phosphoric acid as well. Its chemical formula is NH4H2PO4. Both fertilizers contain phosphorus in the form of ammonium phosphate, making them highly soluble and readily available for plant uptake.

Nutrient Content

When it comes to nutrient content, DAP fertilizer typically contains higher levels of phosphorus compared to MAP fertilizer. On average, DAP contains around 18% nitrogen (N) and 46% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). In contrast, MAP fertilizer usually contains around 11% nitrogen (N) and 52% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). The higher phosphorus content in DAP makes it a preferred choice for crops that require a significant amount of phosphorus during their growth stages, such as root development and flowering.

Acidic or Alkaline pH

Another important attribute to consider is the pH level of the soil. DAP fertilizer tends to be more acidic compared to MAP fertilizer. The presence of ammonium ions in DAP can lower the soil pH, making it suitable for crops that thrive in acidic conditions. On the other hand, MAP fertilizer has a neutral pH, which makes it a better choice for crops that prefer slightly alkaline or neutral soil conditions. It is important to consider the pH requirements of the specific crops being grown to determine the most suitable fertilizer option.

Application Methods

Both DAP and MAP fertilizers can be applied using similar methods, including broadcasting, banding, and fertigation. Broadcasting involves spreading the fertilizer evenly over the soil surface, while banding involves placing the fertilizer in a concentrated band near the plant roots. Fertigation, on the other hand, involves applying the fertilizer through irrigation systems. However, due to the difference in nutrient content, the application rates may vary. DAP fertilizer is typically applied at a higher rate compared to MAP fertilizer to meet the phosphorus requirements of the crops.

Compatibility with Other Fertilizers

When it comes to compatibility with other fertilizers, both DAP and MAP can be mixed with most other fertilizers, including nitrogen-based fertilizers like urea and potassium-based fertilizers like potassium chloride. This flexibility allows farmers to customize their fertilizer blends based on the specific nutrient requirements of their crops. However, it is important to note that DAP and MAP should not be mixed together directly, as they can react chemically and form insoluble compounds, reducing their effectiveness.

Cost and Availability

In terms of cost and availability, DAP and MAP fertilizers are widely available in the market and are relatively affordable compared to other types of fertilizers. The prices of both fertilizers can vary depending on factors such as location, demand, and seasonal fluctuations. However, due to the higher phosphorus content, DAP fertilizer is generally priced slightly higher than MAP fertilizer. It is important for farmers to consider their budget and the specific nutrient requirements of their crops when choosing between DAP and MAP fertilizers.

Environmental Impact

Both DAP and MAP fertilizers, like any other fertilizers, can have environmental impacts if not used properly. Excessive application of phosphorus-based fertilizers can lead to nutrient runoff into water bodies, causing eutrophication and harming aquatic ecosystems. It is crucial for farmers to follow recommended application rates and timing to minimize environmental impacts. Additionally, adopting best management practices such as soil testing, precision application techniques, and proper irrigation management can further reduce the potential negative effects on the environment.


In conclusion, DAP and MAP fertilizers are both valuable sources of phosphorus for plants, providing essential nutrients for healthy growth and maximum crop yields. While DAP fertilizer contains higher levels of phosphorus and is more acidic, MAP fertilizer has a neutral pH and slightly lower phosphorus content. The choice between DAP and MAP depends on factors such as crop requirements, soil pH, and budget. By understanding the attributes of these fertilizers, farmers can make informed decisions to optimize their fertilizer applications and promote sustainable agriculture.

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