Know Your Soil’s Potassium Levels

Know Your Soil’s Potassium Levels

Just as important as the seed you plant, so too is adequate soil fertility needed for optimum yield potential. Knowing your test levels prior to planting will ensure you make the right decisions for your crops. Potassium (K) is taken up in greater amounts than any other nutrient, except Nitrogen. It is an essential nutrient that can be depleted quickly from the soil.

Most of the potassium is accumulated in the corn plant by R2, but uptake occurs rapidly early in the growing season. That is why it is important to make sure your test levels are adequate before that seed hits the ground.

Iowa State University changed their fertility scale for Potassium in 2013. This means what used to be “optimum” is now considered “low” (ISU, PM1688). Through our own sampling results, we have noticed here, at Labre Crop Consulting that it is taking some time to get those K test levels back to optimum and high, or where we like to see them. This is especially the case with the outstanding yields we have been having the last three years.

Higher Yields = Bigger Plants = Increased Potassium Uptake


With fertilizer prices down, along with commodity prices, now is the ideal time to see where your potassium levels stack up. Potash prices were around $300 per ton last fall. This is down from nearly $500 per ton five years ago. Labre Crop Consulting is here to serve as your soil sampling specialist, making sure your fertility levels are sufficient enough to give your crops the best performance potential. The cost of soil sampling easily pays for itself in the savings you incur by applying fertilizer only where it is needed.

-Steph Bowden





Posted in: Soil Sampling

Leave a Comment (0) ↓