Considerations for unharvested plant potassium

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Rosolem, Ciro A. [UNESP]
Mallarino, Antonio P.
Nogueira, Thiago A.R. [UNESP]

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Potassium (K) is found in plants as a free ion or in weak complexes. It is easily released from living or decomposing tissues, and it should be considered in fertilization programs. Several factors affect K cycling in agroecosystems, including soil and fertilizer K contributions, plant K content and exports, mineralization rates from residues, soil chemical reactions, rainfall, and time. Soil K+ ions can be leached, remain as exchangeable K, or migrate to non-exchangeable forms. Crop rotations that include vigorous, deep-rooted cover crops capable of exploring non-exchangeable K in soil are an effective strategy for recycling K and can prevent leaching below the rooting zone in light-textured soils. The amount of K released by cover crops depends on biomass production. Potassium recycled with non-harvested components of crops also varies greatly. Research with maize, soybean, and wheat has shown that 50-60% of K accumulated in vegetative tissues is released within 40-45 days. A better understanding of K cycling would greatly improve the efficacy of K management for crop production. When studying K cycling in agricultural systems, it is important to consider: (1) K addition from fertilizers and organic amendments; (2) K left in residues; (3) K partitioning differences among species; (4) soil texture; (5) soil pools that act as temporary sources or sinks for K. In this chapter, the role of cash and cover crops and organic residues on K cycling are explored to better understand how these factors could be integrated into making K fertilizer recommendations.



Cover crops, K cycling, K management, Plant residues

Como citar

Improving Potassium Recommendations for Agricultural Crops, p. 147-162.