On-farm Evaluation of Potassium Chloride using Combine Yield Monitors

The addition of potassium (K) fertilizer to starter fertilizer blends is becoming a common practice in many areas of western Canada with high soil test K levels. Specific crops, such as malting barley and high yielding spring wheat, are commonly cited as examples of crops that benefit from this starter K. On-farm replicated strip trial projects were initiated to evaluate crop response to starter potassium chloride (KCl) application with the use of combine yield monitors.


15 Mar 2001


    In an attempt to address the issue of K response on both low and high K soils, and to address the issue of field variability, I would like to start working with producers who are interested in monitoring their crop responses to K fertilizer additions. In particular, I am interested in working with farmers who will measure their field responses using either yield monitors or weigh wagon. In most instances the farmers are attempting to determine if they are either a) lowing yield by not applying K on high K soils; b) applying enough starter K (15-25 lb/A) on low K soils, versus using high rates of banded K; or c) using foliar K to correct K deficiencies on low K soils - is a low rate of foliar K enough to correct a deficiency?

    In most instances I have been contacted by these groups and asked for assistance in setting up the on-farm trials. I would like to use some of the discretionary funds to cover some additional soil samples and tissue samples from the projects as a means of providing additional information that may be useful in explaining the results obtained.