Potassium responses in winter crops and pastures

In collaboration with NSW DPI and the GRDC, the response of wheat and barley (Warndoo 2015) and wheat, triticale and canola (Breadalbane 2015) are being investigated. Responses of wheat and canola to K are assessed at Glenthompson (2016) with Southern Farming Systems and the reponse of pasture yield and quality to N, K and Mg is being addressed at Bessiebelle. Additional demonstrations have been undertaken on pastures in coilaboration with Meridian Ag P/L. Support of these trials is provided by Canpotex P/L and IPNI ANZ.


Following the market development work in Queensland over the past few years, there are several areas that are proposed for attention during 2015. Monitoring of the Queensland sites will be continued with the current sorghum crop, and there are new activities proposed for the southern region to demonstrate K responses particularly to fodder producers supplying the dairy industry. A summary of the activities is given below: 1. Read more

Year of initiation:2014
Year of completion:2017


01 Mar 2017

Potassium for fodder quality – 2016
Results of a field trial at Bessiebelle, Victoria

27 Feb 2017

Potassium responses on wheat and canola at Glenthompson, 2016
Field work undertaken in association with Southern Farming Systems.

08 Sep 2015

Potassium for quality hay
K test strips on pastures

08 Sep 2015

K responses on the Southern Tablelands
Research trials with NSW DPI

23 Jul 2015

K experiment at Lake Bolac
Windrows indicate marginal K status

Interpretive Summary

A field site was selected at Glenthompson in the high rainfall zone of southwest Victoria, Australia to further evaluate the responses in that region to potassium (K). The site selected was of moderate soil K status (assessed by bicarbonate extraction at 50 mg/kg K), although the reported critical values for soil test K are uncertain for these soils and environments. Five rates of K (0, 25, 50, 100, 150) were applied at seeding to wheat, canola, and faba beans in a small plot experiment.

Earlier projects have identified that potassium (K) removal is increasing in high rainfall cropping zones (annual rainfall 550 mm) as the area and yield of crops both increase with crop intensification. Previous research in this region has shown responses to applied K. To provide additional information, two field experiments were undertaken during 2016.

In collaboration with New South Wales DPI and GRDC, two grain response experiments were in high rainfall ( 550 mm) regions that are in transition from pastures to cropping and this work aims to provide K responses that growers can use to interpret soil test results. At Breadalbane, the exchangeable K soil test concentration was 34 mg/kg (0 to 10 cm depth), and 15 mg/kg (10 to 30 cm depth). Crops received 0, 12. 5, 25, 50, 100, or 150 kg K/ha as KCl applied just after crop emergence.

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Updates & Reports


K rate and placement for wheat and canola


K responses in fodder production


K responses in fodder crops 2015


K responses at Warndoo, 2015


K responses at Breadalbane 2015.


Project Description

Field site at Glenthompson 2016

Project Leader

Jonathan Holland, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
Ed Hilsden, Landmark
Andrew Speirs, Meridian Agriculture P/L
Mark Conyers, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Project Cooperators

Chris Kilby, Landholder
James Cheetham, Delta Ag
Richard Hayes, NSWPDI
Megan Beveridge, Southern Farming Systems
Andrew Speirs, Meridian Ag
Claudia Gebert, Southern Farming Systems

IPNI Staff

R. M. Norton


Oceania \ Australia and New Zealand \ AUS \ New South Wales \ Breadalbane

Oceania \ Australia and New Zealand \ AUS \ Victoria \ Warndoo

Oceania \ Australia and New Zealand \ AUS \ Victoria \ Glenthompson

Oceania \ Australia and New Zealand \ AUS \ Victoria \ Bessiebelle


4r rate, decision support

barley, canola, triticale, wheat

Potassium (K)