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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.

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To bale or not to bale…

With harvest having started in several counties across the country, decisions will be being made whether to bale straw or chop and incorporate back into the soil. Many winter barley crops that have not suffered from the dry conditions up to June generally have a large amount of straw. Last year there was quite a […]

July 2019

Potash for maize

Following the recent heavy rainfall, some spring sown crops will have quickly gone from a state of moisture stress to waterlogging, not ideal in the early stages of production! Some of the later sown spring crops, such as maize have been slow to get going due to the dry soil conditions. The rainfall will help […]

June 2019

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

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 […]

May 2019

Potash and sulphur for silage yield and quality

Unlike nitrogen and sulphur, potash moves very slowly in the soil. Failure to replenish the potash removed by grass cut for silage can lead to short-term yield penalties. The advice to keep soil potassium levels at Index 2- will maintain a fertile and productive soil throughout the horizon where roots can access nutrients. Fresh potash, […]

May 2019

Potassium and drought tolerance

It can be a bit of a gamble to put together an article which focusses heavily on current weather conditions, particularly when thinking back to April 2012, when farms with access to irrigation equipment were considering applications to cereals. We all know what happened next… However, it cannot be ignored that large parts of the […]

April 2019

Potash for grassland

Potash is used to regulate the movement and storage of solutions throughout plants which can be compared to the blood system in animals or humans. This is a very wide ranging and vital role, affecting nutrient uptake, photosynthesis, rate of growth and feed value of forage. These functions require larger amounts of potash in total […]

March 2019

Understanding phosphate

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..

February 2019

Potash use on grass

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 […]

October 2018

Consider nutrient removals more closely this season

The implications of plant potash levels on drought stress are often discussed during the spring due to the role potash plays in enabling efficient water usage in plants and improving crop tolerance to drought. Drought conditions are not only related to potassium levels in the plant but may also have an impact on nutrient levels […]

July 2018

Nitrogen & potassium Interactions

Justus von Liebig’s Law of the Minimum states that yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient, whichever nutrient it may be (Figure 1). Nitrogen is the nutrient that most frequently provides the largest response, suggesting that this is usually most limiting. However, the plant available potassium status of a soil has […]

April 2018

Time to reflect on last year’s yield and nutritional program

Winter is a good time for many to reflect back on last year’s yields and nutritional programs to identify areas of change that may need correcting going forward. Where applications of phosphate and potash were made based on estimated yields and assumptions on straw management, actual offtakes could be very different, which unless corrected could […]

January 2018

Magnesium as a nutrient for crops and grass

Dr Ian Richards, Independent Consultant, Ecopt. Introduction The 13 or so essential nutrients for plants are grouped, in fertiliser regulations, into primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate and potash), secondary nutrients (calcium, magnesium, sulphur and sodium) and micronutrients (manganese, copper, boron etc) according roughly to the amounts needed by crops. Don’t be deceived by the term ‘secondary’; […]

December 2017