Potassium, or Potash as it is often referred to, is key to the transportation system within the plant. It's fundamental to many metabolic processes, through the activation of a large number of enzymes required for chemical reactions.
It controls cell sap content, which is crucial to maintain a turgid crop and has an essential role in the distribution of sugars and proteins made by the green tissue, for plant growth and grain fill.
Alongside nitrogen, potash increases yield through influencing the number of grains per ear, therefore affecting the quality of the crop and the profit margin.
The importance of sulphur in cereal crop growth is often overlooked. It's involved in amino acid production to produce proteins, so in those crops deficient in the nutrient, there tends to be a lower protein level. This affects the quality of the grain, resulting in difficulties in meeting market specifications.
As it plays a key role in the structure of proteins and functioning of enzymes, sulphur is also involved in the defence of plants against stresses and pests, so often those crops which are deficient in sulphur are more susceptible to disease risk.
Resolving the Deficiencies
To achieve the maximum potential yield of the crop, it's vital nutrient levels are tested in the soil periodically. Nutrient deficiencies can have detrimental effects on crop quality and yield, therefore having an awareness of the fertility status of the soil before the growing season can really improve input decisions.
Every field and farm is different, so for maximum impact from fertiliser applications, speak to your local Wynnstay specialist who can create a bespoke fertiliser plan to ensure all nutritional requirements are met and that the crop achieves its maximum potential.