POTASSIUM SCENARIO--A CASE STUDY IN THE KAPURTHALADISTRICT OF PUNJAB, INDIA
Rajan Bhatt and Manoj Sharma
ABSTRACTPotassium scenario is changing day by day. Generally it is assumed that in the indo-gangetic plains of Punjab, Haryana potassium is in ample amount but latest reports revealed that potassium status startsdeclining because of it’s excess removal in the exhaustic cropping patteren. At Kapurthala district of Punjab,we analyzed 2026 soil samples in the soil and water testing lab of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and it is reportedaround 65% of the samples falls in lower status (K<137.5 Kg/ha). In these fields, it is economical to go forPotash application @50 kg/ha. Thus, to demonstrate the effect of potash, we selected 19 fields where potashstatus is low and laid out our demonstration. The response of grain yield in the treated plots varied from 2.8to 6.3% as compared to the control plots. Thus, it is strongly advised to for potassium on the basis of the soiltest reports to have the potential yield.Key words
: Potassium, Soil testing, fertilizers, Indo-gangetic plains
is the third most important plant nutrient which is required by the plant for carrying out it’sdifferent metabolic activities and to complete it’s life cycle. The issue discusses the importance of potassium asa key plant nutrient and problems associated with deficiencies of potassium in the plant. Potassium is second tonitrogen in plant tissue levels with ranges of 1 to 3% by weight.
As a trivia, potassium is the only essential plant nutrient that is not a constituent of any plant part.
Potassium is a key nutrient in the plants tolerance to stresses such as cold/hot temperatures, droughtand wear and pest problems.
Potassium acts as catalysts for many of the enzymatic processes in the plant that are necessary for plantgrowth to take place.
Another key role of potassium is the regulation of water use in the plant (osmo-regulation). Unlesstruly deficiency occurs, potassium has very little effect on quality such as colour and density.However, once potassium deficiency occurs, it can have a dramatic affect on the plants ability to surviveand function during stress periods such as high temperatures, drought and wear
. Initial potassium deficiency shows up as yellowing of older leaf blades, lower leaf blades, which is then followed by dieback of the leaf tipand scorching of leaf margins as the deficiency problem becomes worse
. There are four different sources of potassium in the soil. The largest soil component of Potassium, 90 to 98%, is the soil minerals such as feldspar and mica. Very little of this Potassium source is available for plant use. The second soil potassium source is the Non-exchangeable potassium, 1 to l0 %, and is associated with the 2: 1 clay minerals. Here one Aluminiumlayer is sand-witched in between two silica layers e.g Montmorillonite, Beidellite, Vermiculites. The Non-exchangeable potassium source acts as a reserve source of potassium in the soil. The third soil potassium source,1 to 2%, is called the exchangeable or readily available potassium and is found on the cation exchange sites or in the soil solution.