What is Potash?

What is Potash?

Potash is a potassium-rich salt that is mined from underground deposits formed from evaporated sea beds millions of years ago. Potassium is an essential element for all plant, animal and human life.

The term "potash" refers to a group of potassium (K) bearing minerals and chemicals. The compound, Potassium Chloride (KCl), is a dominating force in the world potash market.

Potassium is an important element because when there is a potassium deficiency in the soil, fertilizers containing potassium are used to help boost crop yields and improve the quality of the plant. Potassium protects plants from extreme temperatures. It helps plants to fight stress and disease, and deter pests such as weeds and insects. Potassium stops wilting, strengthens roots and stems, and assists in transferring food. It activates plant enzymes to ensure plants use water efficiently. Higher levels of potassium in the soil help crops withstand stressful conditions.

Fertilizers are plant food. They are combinations of the nutrients that plants must absorb in order to grow. The main elements in fertilizers are: Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (often referred to as N-P-K). There are a variety of “trace” minerals such as copper, manganese, zinc and boron that are also necessary for normal plant growth.

As plants grow, they absorb and deplete nutrients from the soil. Farmers harvest those nutrients when they harvest the crops. All plant nutrients, whether found in organic or mineral fertilizers, are identical; however, mineral fertilizers have the advantage of concentration and nutrients can be blended to meet specifications. Mineral fertilizers can be designed to meet the nutritional needs of specific plants and soils.

It has been shown, that in order to produce 10 to 15 kgs of grain, plants require 1 kg of nitrogen. Our atmosphere is made up of 80% nitrogen. Most tropical soils “fix” or draw from the air enough nitrogen to produce about 1 ton of grain per hectare. To produce more, the plants must have more nitrogen whether as in organic or mineral fertilizers. Plants must also have phosphorous, potassium and “trace” minerals. If a soil lacks or has an insufficient amount of theses minerals, they must be added as fertilizers or production will stagnate or cease.

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