There is limited information on how commercial phosphorus fertilizer application in a concentrated band impacts the solubility and transformation of phosphate compounds in presence or absence of plant growth in Canadian prairie soils. A synchrotron-based technique was used to reveal the chemical speciation of soil phosphorus (P). This study was performed at Central Butte SK, Canada. Monoammonium phosphate blended with urea was applied at a rate of 54 kg N ha-1 and 20 kg P ha-1. The XANES analysis results showed that different P retention mechanisms take place depending on both presence and absence of plant growth.