Declining soil PK indices compromising crop health and yield

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Recently highlighted PDA data shows a potentially high number of arable fields are not receiving sufficient PK, which is resulting in declining indices.

A negative nutrient balance in maintenance or deficient situations can lead to depleted indices and the risk of an uphill battle trying to restore levels, argues OMEX agronomist Andy Eccles.

“The most cost-effective approach to balancing a deficit is to regularly maintain indices and allow the run-down of high indices,” he says. “If you haven’t applied PK for some time, it is strongly recommended to get fields tested and checked. Sampling will allow growers to determine exactly how much PK is needed, and to redress imbalances with tailor-made nutrition packages.

“As we start to think about autumn cropping, the importance of maintaining PK levels and addressing deficiencies in combinable crops is increasing. Wet autumn conditions last year highlighted the need to get on early after harvest and ensure crops are supplied with sufficient levels of PK.”

Available phosphate is important for rooting and establishment and potash is needed to balance other nutrients, especially nitrogen, to make sure they are taken-up and used by plants efficiently.

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.