Phosphate sorption by the surface horizon of 228 acid to neutral Western Australian (W.A.) soils is more closely related (r(2) = 0.76) to the content of oxalate-extractable aluminium than to any other soil constituent. This fraction corresponds to poorly ordered inorganic and organic Al compounds that release considerable amounts of OH- to NaF solution. Thus the abundance of these compounds in soil may be estimated by measurement of the pH of a NaF extract (pH((NaF))) This association enables the rapid and moderately accurate prediction in the field of the P-sorption capacity of soils (r(2) = 0.72) by measuring pH((NaF)) With a. simple, portable pH meter. For many W.A. soils, it is probable that well crystalline aluminium and iron oxides, clay minerals and other soil constituents are of secondary importance in determining P-sorption and that most P-sorption is due to poorly ordered and organically complexed forms of Al.