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Potassium Fertilizer Application in Crop Production

Potassium Fertilizer Application in Crop Production

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Published by Prashant Gurjar

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Published by: Prashant Gurjar on Jul 02, 2011
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PotassiumFertilizer  Application In CropProduction
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 Potassium deficiency|Potassium requirements of crops|Determining the need for potassium fertilization|Choosing the rate of application|Potassium fertilizers|Method of potassium fertilizer  application|Perennial crops  Potassium (K) is required by all plant and animal life. Plants require potassium for photosynthesis, osmotic regulation and the activation of enzyme systems. Potassium deficiency in cereal crops results in reducedgrowth, delayed maturity, lodging caused by weak straw, and low bushelweight.
Potassium Deficiency
 Potassium deficiency
symptoms
on cereal grains appear as a burning or scorching of the lower leaves. The burning begins at the tip of the leaf and continues down the leaf margin. Lower leaves are affected first because potassium in the plant is transported to the new upper leaves.Potassium deficiency in alfalfa appears as white or yellow spots on thelower leaves. Many other factors can affect the appearance of lower leaves, so diagnosis based on deficiency symptoms is risky.Potassium deficiency in Alberta is less common than nitrogen, phosphorus or sulphur deficiency for several reasons. First, the parentgeologic material on which the soils developed generally containedconsiderable potassium-bearing minerals. Secondly, the soils are youngand have undergone minimal weathering and leaching. Thirdly, cropremoval has been relatively minor where cereals have been the dominantcrop, especially where straw was left on the field or manure returned toit.There are an estimated
3 million acres
of potassium deficient soils in
 
Alberta. Of this total, about 2.5 million are moderately deficient and
0.5
 million very deficient
. Potassium deficient soils tend to be light tomedium textured, alkaline, carbonated and imperfectly to poorly drainedin their natural state. Organic soils are also frequently deficient in potassium.Potassium chloride (KCl), also called
muriate of potash
, is the mostcommonly used potassium fertilizer. It is a relatively inexpensivenutrient, and deficiencies can often be corrected with moderate rates of application. As a result, correcting a potassium deficiency can result inexcellent economic returns.

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