Harvesting Stover Means You're Removing Potassium

Crop Nutrition

Fall Tips: Harvesting Stover Means You’re Removing Potassium… and Lots of It

eKonomics News Team

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The onset of bioenergy has created a wonderful opportunity for farmers to harvest and sell stover for use in cellulosic ethanol. However, there’s a catch. Recent research conducted at Iowa State indicates that the removal of stover will dramatically lessen the amount of potassium that’s returned to the soil. Translation? Farmers harvesting stover will need to invest in up to three times more potassium to maintain the optimum nutrient levels necessary for maximizing profits. In this video, Iowa State’s Dr. Mallarino explains his research and findings.

Return of Potassium to the Soil

The amount of potassium lost from physiological maturity, to grain harvest, to residue is significant.

amount of K lost from physiological maturity

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