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Potassium – The Taken for Granted Plant Nutrient

Potassium (K) is required by plants in large quantities just like Nitrogen and Phosphorus however, K is often overlooked because it doesn’t draw attention due to its cost or environmental impacts as much as N / P.

The trend in Ontario and North America for that matter is decreasing K in our agricultural soils.  One of the biggest contributing factors to the decreasing soil reserves is increase in corn and soybean yields over the past decade.  Both corn and soybeans have high K removal rates in the grain.  Our fertilization practices for K have not kept up with yield removal of K in many cases resulting in decreasing soil K ppm (parts per million).


When potassium supply is limited, plants have reduced yields, poor quality, utilize water less efficiently, and are more susceptible to pest and disease damage.  Potassium is important, don’t take it for granted or you will pay the price in yield and quality.