The effectiveness of large single applications of North Carolina reactive rock phosphate, Queensland non-reactive rock phosphate, and Calciphos, were compared to the effectiveness of superphosphate in field experiments in south-western Australia for up to 11 years after application. As measured using plant yield, superphosphate was the most effective fertilizer in the year of application, and relative to freshly-applied superphosphate, the effectiveness of the superphosphate residues declined to be about 15 to 65% as effective in the year after application, and 5 to 20% as effective 9 to 10 years after application. Relative to freshly-applied superphosphate, all the rock phosphates were 10 to 30% as effective in the year of application, and the residues remained 2 to 20% as effective in the 10 years after application. The bicarbonate soil test reagent predicted a more gradual decrease in effectiveness of superphosphate of up to 70% 10 years after application. For rock phosphate, the reagent predicted effectiveness to be always lower than for superphosphate, being initially 2 to 11% as effective in the year after application, and from 10% to equally as effective 10 years later. Therefore rock phosphates are unlikely to be economic alternatives to superphosphate in the short or long term on most lateritic soils in south-western Australia.