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Potassium Nutrition in the Northern Great Plains. Outline: Potassium (K) Nutrition in the Northern Great Plains. Role of K in crop production Soil K and soil test levels Crop uptake of K K deficiencies Crop responses to K Chloride (Cl) response Fertilizer K.

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outline potassium k nutrition in the northern great plains
Outline: Potassium (K) Nutrition in the Northern Great Plains
  • Role of K in crop production
  • Soil K and soil test levels
  • Crop uptake of K
  • K deficiencies
  • Crop responses to K
  • Chloride (Cl) response
  • Fertilizer K

Photo courtesy of Lyle Cowell, SWP

what is the role of k in plants
What Is the Role of Kin Plants?
  • K activates enzyme reactions
  • K controls water uptake and transpiration
  • K influences energy production in photosynthesis and respiration
  • K supports photosynthate transport
  • K fosters nitrate-nitrogen (N) uptake and protein synthesis
  • K is required for starch synthesis in seeds
soil k

Unavailable (90 to 98%)

K+

K+

K

K+

Soil Water

K

Soil Minerals

(feldspar, mica)

K+

K

K

K

Readily available (0.1 to 2%)

K+

K+

K+

K+

Soil Colloid

SoilColloid

Trapped K

K+

K+

K+

K+

Soil Colloid

Slowly available (1 to 10%)

Soil K
soil testing methods for k
Soil Testing Methodsfor K
  • Most soil tests for K are based on either an ammonium acetate extraction or a similar extraction
  • In some regions with low CEC soils, K rates are often based on the ratio of K relative to other bases, such as Ca and Mg
  • Ion exchange membranes which measure the soil supply rate of K
median ammonium acetate equivalent soil test k levels 20051

AB

SK

MB

201

254

207

MT

ND

259

265

2005

North American-wide

154 ppm

Median Ammonium Acetate Equivalent Soil Test K Levels, 2005
potassium soil test rating and recommendations
Potassium Soil Test Ratingand Recommendations
  • Soil test recommendations vary among labs.
  • Most labs use a set of regional crop response data to develop fertilizer recommendations based on a K soil test. An example:

Wheat K2O recommendations using band application (Agvise Labs)

k uptake of wheat during the growing season
K Uptake of Wheat Duringthe Growing Season

Jacobsen et al., 1992 (graphic from Korb et al., 2002)

crop uptake of k
Crop Uptake of K

K uptake in

Crop Yield/A total crop, lb K2O/A

Wheat 40 bu 80 (19)*

Canola 35 bu 89 (20)

Peas 50 bu 150 (39)

Barley silage 4.5 tons 132

Alfalfa 3 tons 180

*K removed in grain in parenthesis.

potassium deficiency symptoms in barley

58

60

49

50

38

40

Barley grain yield, bu/A

30

11

20

10

0

60

120

0

240

K2O rate in lb/A

Potassium DeficiencySymptoms in Barley
potassium budget in the northern great plains region 2000 2001

State or Province

Crop Removal

Fertilizer Applied

Recoverable Manure

Balance

(R)

(F)

(M)

F-R

F+M-R

--------------------- K2O, million lb ---------------------

Alberta

607

128

136

-479

-343

Saskatchewan

640

59

43

-581

-538

Manitoba

332

92

45

-240

-195

Montana

352

42

9

-310

-301

North Dakota

609

52

13

-557

-544

Potassium Budget in the Northern Great Plains Region, 2000-2001
plant tissue k guidelines for crops an example

% K in plant tissue

Crop type -- stage

Deficient

Low

Sufficient

High

Wheat – tillering

<1.2

1.3 – 1.5

1.6 – 3.0

3.1 – 9.9

Wheat – boot

<1.4

1.5 – 1.9

2.0 – 2.4

2.5 – 3.5

Wheat – heading

<1.2

1.3 – 1.5

1.6 – 3.0

3.1 – 9.9

Alfalfa – top 6 in.

<1.7

1.8 – 2.4

2.5 – 3.8

3.9 – 4.7

Agvise Labs

Plant Tissue K Guidelines for Crops … An Example
crop responses to k
Crop Responses to K
  • While many northern Great Plains soils have abundant K, the region also has areas with very low soil K
  • It is not uncommon to find areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta with soils testing 30 to 50 ppm K/A
  • Crops respond to K application in these low K soils
barley response to soil k levels and fertilizer k 2 o

80

Soil K 25-50 ppm/A

70

60

50

% Grain Yield Increase

40

Soil K 50-75 ppm/A

30

Soil K 75-100 ppm/A

20

10

0

0

12

24

Added K, lbs K2O/A added to seed row

N and P added to soil test recommendation

D. Walker, Lacombe, AB

Barley Response to Soil K Levels and Fertilizer K2O
barley wheat and canola response to k

70

60

Barley

50

72 ppm K/A

40

33 ppm K/A

Grain yield, bu/A

Canola

50 ppm K/A

30

Wheat

36 ppm K/A

20

30 ppm K/A

10

0

0

100

200

400

Added K (lb K

O/A Broadcast + Incorp)

2

N and P added to soil test recommendation

Henry and Halstead, 1968

Barley, Wheat, and Canola Response to K
k benefits crop growth and yield longevity of alfalfa stands
K Benefits Crop Growth and Yield Longevity of Alfalfa Stands
  • K increases carbohydrate in the crown roots of alfalfa during fall growth to increase

- Winter hardiness

- Early spring re-growth

slide22

No K

100 lb K2O/yr

Manitoba - Soil K 116 ppm/A (0 to 6 in.)

100

80

60

Stand density, %

40

20

0

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

Plant counts in May as % of those the previous September

K Helps Reduce Winterkill in Alfalfa

crop response on high k soils
Crop Response onHigh K Soils
  • Yield increases often occur from potash applied on soils not deficient in K. Why?
  • K responses as a result of:

- Cold soils in the spring (slow root growth and nutrient uptake)

- Dry soils (droughty conditions reduce K diffusion)

- Field (landscape) variability

- Cl ion (Cl-) response

barley response to starter k and seeding date

7 bu

60

50

6 bu

3 bu

40

Check

Barley Yield (bu/A)

30

20 K2O

20

10

0

April 6

May 6

June 3

Barley Response to Starter K and Seeding Date

Soil K levels - High

Dubbs, Montana State Univ.

crop response to added k in high k soils in montana 264 sites

Frequency of response, %

5.5 bu/A

97 Expts.

Winter Wheat

4.8 bu/A

Spring Wheat

33 Expts

3.9 bu/A

48 Expts.

Feed Barley

9.2 bu/A

Malt Barley (irr.)

10 Expts.

36 Expts.

0.35 t/A

Alfalfa

2.8 t/A

Corn Silage

22Expts.

25 cwt/A

Potatoes (irr.)

18 Expts.

0

20

40

60

80

Each crop represents 2 to 8 cropping years

Soils testing > 600 ppm (1967-1979)

Crop Response to Added K in High K Soils in Montana (264 Sites)

Skogley & Haby 1981

crop response to added k in alberta 548 sites

Barley, oats, and rape – 1968-74

Crop Response to Added K in Alberta (548 sites)

Exch. K Total Responsive Average

ppm/A sites sites,% Resp., cwt/A

0 - 50 37 70 6.1

51 - 100 132 73 4.8

101 - 150 115 55 2.5

151 - 200 100 52 2.4

201 - 300 99 46 2.7

301 - 400 37 43 2.4

> 400 28 21 1.9

Lopetinsky 1977

frequency distribution of soil k on a 220 x 220 ft grid at mundare ab

35

30

Mean = 135 ppm

Mode = 108 ppm

25

20

Frequency (%)

15

10

5

0

59-101

101-

143-

185-

227-

269-

143

185

227

269

311

Soil K (ppm)

Frequency Distributionof Soil K on a 220 x 220 ft. Grid at Mundare, AB

Penny et al., 1996

chloride an essential plant nutrient
Chloride---An EssentialPlant Nutrient
  • The deficiency of Cl in the soil can account for crop responses to KCl application.
  • Earliest report of Cl crop response ... table salt (NaCl) in mid 1800s
  • Recognized as an essential micronutrient since the 1950s
  • Research in the late 1970s revealed insufficient levels in many areas
crop responses to chloride
Crop Responses to Chloride
  • Chloride has been shown to have an effect on:
    • Root rot and foliar diseases in cereal crops
    • Seed weight at harvest, especially barley, by extending the grain filling period
    • Reducing physiological leaf spot in cereal crops on fields where soil Cl is less than 10 lb/A (24 in. depth)
    • Increasing crop yields
chloride may improve crop yields
Chloride May ImproveCrop Yields
  • ~ 200 university trials in KS, MN, MT, ND, SD, MB, and SK have evaluated Cl response in wheat and barley
    • Included non-responsive and high Cl sites
  • Significant yield response in 48% of trials
  • Average yield response of 5 bu/A
yield boost from chloride depends on wheat variety

12

1996

1997

1998

10

8

6

4

Yield response, bu/A

2

0

-2

-4

-6

Barrie

Cora

Grandin

Karma

Kyle

Yield Boost from Chloride Depends on Wheat Variety
slide34
Once in the soil, all fertilizer sources are the same form as found in the soil (K+). This is the form taken up by plants.

K+

K2SO4

KCl

what happens to fertilizer k in the soil

Slowly

Available K

Available K

Unavailable K

What Happens to Fertilizer K in the Soil?
  • Absorbed by crop in year 1:
    • 20 to 60% of applied K
    • Highest recovery on low K soils
  • Slowly available K (future years):
    • Bulk of remaining K in most soil types
    • Future supply of K
fertilizer k sources
Fertilizer K Sources

Source Analysis

Potassium chloride, KCl 0-0-60 (62)

Potassium sulfate, K2SO4 0-0-50 - 17

Potassium nitrate, KNO3 13-0-44

Potassium-magnesium sulfate,

K2SO4.2MgSO4 0-0-22-22-11

Potassium thiosulfate, K2S2O3 0-0-25-17

barley response to kcl placement and rate

30

Seed row

Side band

25

Broadcast

20

Grain Yield Increase (bu/A)

15

10

5

0

0

15

30

60

90

120

150

180

240

lb K

O/A

2

N and P added to soil test recommendation

SIP Soil Fertility Rpt, 1968

Barley Response to KCl Placement and Rate
safe rates of seed row k application saskatchewan
Safe Rates of Seed Row K application (Saskatchewan)
  • Seed row application of K2O should not exceed(1 in. spread, 6 to 7 in. rows):
    • Cereals – 50 lb K2O/A
    • Canola – 20 lb K2O/A
    • Dry pea – 15 lb K2O/A
  • Combined P2O5 and K2O in the seed row should also not exceed the recommended safe rates for K2O alone

Source: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food

potassium does not cause roots to proliferate

Corn 17 days old

100

80

60

Proportion of roots observed in K solution (%)

40

20

0

0

20

40

60

80

100

Proportion of roots expected for no K effect (%)

Potassium Does Not Cause Roots to Proliferate
  • Split-root experiment
  • Percent of the total root system on the side with K was the same as that on the side without K
  • Effects of K on root growth may not be localized as is found with P

Classen and Barber, 1977

summary k nutrition in the northern great plains
Summary—K Nutrition in the NorthernGreat Plains
  • K nutrition is critical to crop production
  • Most northern Great Plains soils are high in K, allowing for a net removal of soil K each year
  • Crops take up as much K as N during growth, with only a small proportion removed in grain
  • Where deficient, crop response to K is greatest for barley, followed by wheat and canola
  • Crop responses to muriate of potash (KCl) can be a Cl response
slide43

International Plant Nutrition Institute655 Engineering Drive, Suite 110Norcross, GA 30092-2604Phone: 770-447-0335; Fax: 770-448-0439www.ipni.net

Reference #06111

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