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Testing polyhalite as a tool to overcome nutrient deficiencies in organic cabbage culture

Terrones, C.; Gelencsér, T.; Hauenstein, S.; Sommer, L.; Schwitter, P.; Bünemann, E.; Koller, M. and Mäder, P. (2020) Testing polyhalite as a tool to overcome nutrient deficiencies in organic cabbage culture. Electronic International Fertilizer Correspondent, 2020 (60), pp. 23-30.

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Online at: https://www.ipipotash.org/uploads/e-ifc/pdf/e-ifc-60-jun-2020-cabbage.pdf

Summary

In addition to regular nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) requirements, Brassica crops need significant amounts of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). The organic farming approach restricts the use of chemical fertilizers, considerably challenging balanced mineral nutrition of cole crops such as cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. oleracea). Polyhalite, a natural mineral, is an authorized fertilizer (Polysulphate®) for producers of organic crops in many countries. Consisting of 14% K2O, 48% SO3, 6% MgO, and 17% CaO, polyhalite can be considered a useful supplementary fertilizer of four essential nutrients in organic farming. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the effects of polyhalite application on cabbage performance and compare it with equivalent commercial organic fertilizers. When used on fertile soil, rich with K, Ca, and Mg, the effects of supplementary nutrition on crop performance were absent. Sulfur uptake tended to be greater with polyhalite than in the non-fertilized control (p = 0.071), driven by a combination of increased marketable yield as well as S concentration in leaves. Sulfur nutrition appeared key to enhancing cabbage crop performance. Polyhalite displayed a strong tendency to enhance and stabilize yields, compared to alternatives. It tended to be better as a Ca donor compared to foliar Ca application, and was at least equivalent to gypsum. Harbouring four essential nutrients, polyhalite may be a suitable fertilizer, particularly for the organic market. It is advantageous being natural and easy to spread. However, in order to fully demonstrate the advantages of polyhalite, it should also be tested at sites with much weaker soil fertility.


EPrint Type:Newspaper or magazine article
Keywords:crop yield, plant nutrition, sulfur, phosphorus, soil fertility, calcium, deficiency, effects, fertilizers, gypsum, leaves, magnesium, mineral uptake, nutrient uptake, organic farming, organic fertilizers, potassium, sulfur trioxide, cabbages, Düngetest Polysulphate, Abacus, FiBL10130
Agrovoc keywords:
LanguageValueURI
Englishcabbageshttp://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_1173
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Composting and fertilizer application
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Nutrient management
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Arable crops > Root crop
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Vegetables
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:39235
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 14:29
Last Modified:24 Feb 2021 08:48
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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