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Showing posts from October, 2014

Potassium Fertilizer Considerations for 2015

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

At times potassium (K) can be the forgotten element when determining appropriate rates of fertilizer to apply.  Nitrogen and phosphorus typically are of main concern due to the potential yield response for corn to nitrogen and many soils around the state historically being low in P but medium to high in K.  Potassium should not be a forgotten nutrient as there are situations where K fertilizer can be profitable.

Taking a soil test is the best option for determining where K is needed.  Soil testing for K can be problematic as K levels can vary over the growing season.  The uptake of K in plant residue can well exceed the amount of K removed in the grain.  Potassium in plant stover can play an important role in the nutrition of crops planted the next year.  As plants mature and begin to decay, K taken up during the growing season can be leached out of drying or decaying residue.  The recovery of K can be rapid for plants that senesce l…