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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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Soil sampling and different methods of arable cultivation

Soil sampling for the routine measurement of P, K, Mg indices and pH is familiar to most advisers and farmers, with the same well-proven method used for many years. But how are things different where minimum cultivation is practised?

December 2016

Crop nutrition assignment by Melissa Gorst of Newcastle University

This year we sponsored the Crop Nutrition essay at Newcastle University and Melissa Gorst, a 2nd year agricultural degree student, won our prize with this essay.

August 2016

Optimising potash use on cut grassland

Grass cut regularly, as silage, haylage or hay, removes very large amounts of potassium (K). Unless this is replaced, soil K concentrations will fall. In recent years there is evidence of an overall increase in the number of grassland soils below target index (2-), as well as a decline in the use of potash fertiliser. This situation is not sustainable and grass yields will fall unless corrected.

April 2016

How we apply potash

Having worked out the rate of nutrient potash required for a crop or grass, and considered the timing of the applications, we now have to select a suitable fertiliser product or other source, such as organic manures, to apply to the soil or crop. Then we have to apply it effectively to suit the crop being grown.

January 2016

Planning potash applications

As growers and advisers we need to know how much potash we should apply to ensure crops thrive in terms of yield and quality. Previous articles have described the way soils hold potash and how the plants use it. This article takes us on to the reality of deciding how much, and when to apply […]

August 2015

The role of potash in plants

Ian Matts, Company Agronomist, Yara UK Potassium is one of the major nutrients required by all crops and is present in large quantities in the plant in the form of the cation K+. It plays a major role in achieving the maximum economic yield, as part of a balanced approach to crop nutrition, as well […]

May 2015

Soil texture and pH effects on potash and phosphorus availability

Dr Paul Hargreaves, SRUC, Crichton, Dumfries. The application, use, efficiency and loss of nutrients including K and P can vary with soil type. Soil type is generally determined by the texture of the soil, which is a measure of the proportions of the following three particles: sand, classified as having a particle size between 0.05mm […]

January 2015

High Yields – are we keeping up with Potash offtakes?

The Fertiliser Manual (RB209) gives recommendations for phosphate and potash applications for arable crops and grass based on that needed to replace the amount that will be removed from the soil by crop offtake at harvest. In addition, where soil analysis is below target, it adds a small amount to build up the soil reserves […]

September 2014

Measuring potassium in soil and crop

At a time when a crop is looking at its best, as is usually the case at this time of year, there may be little incentive to think about deficiencies. However crops can appear to be perfectly well fed yet still be deficient in potash. This ‘invisible’ deficiency is often referred to as ‘hidden hunger’, […]

June 2014

Nutrient recycling by grazing cattle

Grazing livestock return most of the nutrients they consume to the soil. This sounds good but a glance at any grazed pasture will show that the recycling is not done very well. There are many patches where dung or urine has been deposited but most of the field is unaffected. In paddock grazing systems where […]

October 2013

Fertiliser base dressings and timing

Nitrogen fertilisation for good yields can be effectively managed at SNS Index 0, because nitrogen fertiliser is applied each year to make good the supply from the soil and to meet the needs of the crop. But we cannot do this with potash (nor with phosphate) on P or K Index 0 soils because it […]

July 2013

What are the effects of potash deficiency?

We write ‘effects of potash deficiency’ rather than ‘symptoms of deficiency’, because so many of the negative effects of a shortage of available potash to crops are not clearly apparent, whereas ‘symptoms’ implies some visible effect. Of course severe deficiency has visible symptoms (Figure 1), but there can be many expensive negative impacts on the […]

March 2013