Outputs: Potassium losses from agricultural systems

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Goulding, Keith
Murrell, T. Scott
Mikkelsen, Robert L.
Rosolem, Ciro [UNESP]
Johnston, Johnny
Wang, Huoyan
Alfaro, Marta A.

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Potassium (K) outputs comprise removals in harvested crops and losses via a number of pathways. No specific environmental issues arise from K losses to the wider environment, and so they have received little attention. Nevertheless, K is very soluble and so can be leached to depth or to surface waters. Also, because K is bound to clays and organic materials, and adsorbed K is mostly associated with fine soil particles, it can be eroded with particulate material in runoff water and by strong winds. It can also be lost when crop residues are burned in the open. Losses represent a potential economic cost to farmers and reduce soil nutritional status for plant growth. The pathways of loss and their relative importance can be related to: (a) the general characteristics of the agricultural ecosystem (tropical or temperate regions, cropping or grazing, tillage management, interactions with other nutrients such as nitrogen); (b) the specific characteristics of the agricultural ecosystem such as soil mineralogy, texture, initial soil K status, sources of K applied (organic, inorganic), and rates and timing of fertilizer applications. This chapter provides an overview of the main factors affecting K removals in crops and losses through runoff, leaching, erosion, and open burning.



Crop removal, Erosion, Leaching, Preferential flow, Runoff

Como citar

Improving Potassium Recommendations for Agricultural Crops, p. 75-97.