Crops may need extra Potassium when they under stress from drought or frost. There is a theoretical basis, and now GRDC funded research is looking into whether applying additional potassium is worthwhile when plants are under stress.
Getting the right combination of drought and frost conditions to get meaningful results from field trials is proving a challenge, so trials are having to run across many seasons. Some experiments have been running now for over six years. WA researchers hope to have some answers soon on:
Can frost damage can be reduced by supplying soil potassium at sowing or foliar potassium spray at booting,
- If drought resilience is influenced by soil potassium levels.
Potassium (chemical symbol K) is an essential element for crops, and deficiency is more common than it used to be. Removal of K in harvested grain does deplete of soil reserves, and grain yield responses are almost always seen when soil tests show deficient K.
Richard Bell, Murdoch University, James Eason, CSBP, Liam Ryan, DAFWA.
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