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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.

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.

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

Change of PDA staff

Our Coordinator, Peter Hoey, is leaving PDA and we are delighted to say that Ian Matts is taking over from December 1st. Ian is well known in the nutrient industry having done over 10 years with Yara Fertilisers, lastly as Technical Manager for UK and Ireland. He is now an independent agronomist/consultant, and also the […]

November 2017

Grass yields: measure to manage

To misquote a saying slightly “if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it”, this is very important for grassland where production is so often not measured directly because grass is grown to feed livestock, rather than sell directly as a product. As a result of not measuring, the benefits of certain grassland management decisions […]

November 2017

Review of potassium as a nutrient (IFS)

At their 2016 agronomic conference the International Fertiliser Society (IFS) hosted a comprehensive and detailed review of potassium management in soils and crops by Johnny Johnston, of Rothamsted Research. Containing a host of data from long term trials run by Rothamsted, this is an excellent reference guide for advisers. You can read the abstract of […]

September 2017

Sulphur as a Nutrient for Crops and Grass

Introduction Sulphur is an essential nutrient for all plants, and certain crops are more vulnerable to deficiency than others. Historically, in the UK sulphur was deposited on land from the atmosphere in quantities which were adequate for our crops. However, as the burning of UK coal (high S) in power stations was switched to imported […]

September 2017