PDA logo

Potash Development Association

Show menu

Potash News

The Potash Development Association publishes both technical Potash News items and shorter Blog items. Potash News provides the latest up to date information on Potash and its use, while blog items are shorter and more timely.

If you are in the UK or Ireland and are interested in receiving Potash News items through the post free of charge, then sign up on the contact page. Recipients of the Potash News can receive CPD points for BASIS, NRoSO, and Dairy Pro.

Crop establishment

September 2021

Establishment is the most critical period in any annual crops life-cycle, as it is the time when the yield potential is set. All challenges the crop faces during the season serves to reduce the final yield from this potential. Therefore, conversely, any management decisions taken from this point onwards only helps limit the reduction in this yield potential.

The situation regarding P&K balances

June 2021

When looking at P&K balances in detail over the last five years, including fields where no applications were made, the overall balances are dramatically negative. Maintaining soils at the target index is the safest way to ensure these crops are able to access the required quantities at the appropriate times to optimise growth, yield and therefore financial returns.

Nutrient Use Efficiency

March 2021

Nutrient, particularly nitrogen, use efficiency (NUE), is a particular talking-point currently within the industry as government considers ways to help reduce the impact of agriculture on greenhouse gas emissions. The Campaign for the Farmed Environment states the aim as more efficient nutrient management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through better fertiliser application and management of […]

Soil sampling under different cultivation practices

December 2020

The premise for ensuring crops and grass have access to sufficient quantities of phosphorus and potassium to meet their uptake requirements over the course of a season is to assess the soil reserves. This is carried out in practice by taking a soil sample, either to 15cm depth in arable soils, or 7.5cm depth in […]

Potassium and pest pressure

October 2020

Barley yellow dwarf virus is the most economically important virus in UK cereals, with severe infections causing losses of up to 60% in winter wheat and 50% in winter barley. Although this is rare, significant economic damage can occur from small populations of aphids carrying the virus. The effects of BYDV can also be exacerbated […]

Potash for grass

June 2020

Many farmers are not getting the best from their grassland because of a lack of potash. Any green material removed from fields also removes large quantities of potash which will need replacing to ensure grass productivity is maintained.

Crop root systems explain need to maintain K Index level

March 2020

When considering the appropriate soil K Index for a crop or rotation it is important to take into account that different crops have root systems with different total lengths, depths and efficiencies. Generally speaking, the longer an annual crop is growing, the longer the root system, which means that winter combinable crops and grass etc, should have […]

Recent trends in UK potash fertiliser use

December 2019

The latest Professional Agricultural Analysis Group (PAAG) UK soil analysis data suggest that 33% of fields (including both arable and grassland) are below index 2- for potassium. These soils will require an application of K to replace what has been removed by the crop during the season and an additional amount to build up the […]

Potash implications of baling straw

September 2019

Last harvest there were quite a lot of last-minute decisions to bale as a result of anticipated straw shortages and higher prices. Baling and removing straw, where there is no specific requirement for other enterprises on the farm, can often be a sensible agronomic and economic decision. These include high level of residue on the […]

Potassium for the soil and crop: the importance of getting it right

May 2019

Patrick J. Forrestal1, Mark Plunkett1, Cathal Redmond1 and Martin Bourke21Soils, Land Use and Environment Dept. Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford.2Teagasc Advisory Service, Tinnahealy, Co. Wicklow Introduction Crops including spring barley require high levels of potassium (K) to support yield, often at similar levels to nitrogen (N). Potassium has traditionally received much less focus compared with […]

Understanding phosphate

February 2019

I have recently seen two statements that imply that using water-soluble phosphate fertilisers increases the risk of loss of phosphate to surface water, with its adverse environmental implications, and that the majority of the phosphate applied to soil becomes fixed in the soil and is unavailable to plants. Neither statement is true..

Potash use on grass

October 2018

It has been well known for decades that grass can take up and, if cut for silage or hay remove from the field, very large amounts of potash. Typical potash removal values shown in the Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) are equivalent to around 2% K in dry-matter, sometimes higher in fresh grass and lower in […]