It was suggested in a recent paper from the US that because 24% of reports from a literature survey showed positive responses to applied K, that growers did not need to use K fertilizers. While K responses will not occur on all soils with all crops, there are clearly situations where K responses are documented and can be expected. In all states of Australia, K responses are seen, particularly on acid, sandy soils in moderate to high rainfall zones where hay cutting occurs. K is recognised in Western Australia in particular and the literature is clear on its value. There is also research in Queensland showing clear responses to deep placed K on soils that have had subsoil K depleted.
IPNI has written a detailed summary of K research in the US documenting the widespread benefits from the use of potassium fertilizer.
There is increased interest in South Australia as well – and IPNI ANZ director Rob Norton presented a summary of K work at the 2014 GRDC Advisor Updates in Adelaide.
Prepared by Stephanie Alt with technical input from Rob Norton, IPNI.