Issue 6 2019
More evidence of Polysulphate making all the difference for potato crop
Potato trial at Totoró (Colombia) during harvest.

What better feeling is there than to do something different that makes a positive difference? That is as true in farming as it is in life and we are delighted to share the difference that using Polysulphate is making to potato production in Colombia: lifting yield, tuber size and income.

Ancient crop with modern importance

Potato is one of Colombia’s most important staple foods and still an important subsistence crop for many farmers. The country also has one of the largest commercial potato industries in the Andean region producing, according to FAO, almost 3 million tonnes of the crop in 2017. Of course, achieving quantity and quality is essential and that is what is prompting many farmers to look at how they can be more precise and balanced in the nutrition they give to their potato crop, especially in terms of sulphur supply.

Bring Polysulphate into potato nutrition

So, what could make the difference in potato crop nutrition? That is the question many farmers are asking. The answer could be to use Polysulphate. An experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of partially replacing (50%) of the most commonly used fertilizer (NPK 10-20-20) has reported interesting results. 

This field study was carried out in a small farm located at 2800 meters of altitude in Gabriel Lopez, Totoró, Colombia, between February and June, 2018. The soil is classified as Andisol, sandy loam, and is acidic with low pH, and low K and Mg contents.

Taking potato productivity up a level

Combining Polysulphate with NPK treatment increased total yield by 4% compared with farmers’ usual practice. This treatment also resulted in an increase in the number of large tubers; 20% more first class (large) tubers and 23% less third class (small) tubers. Plus, overall total income from the crop was increased by up to 13%.

Potato yield by tuber size. Bars indicate average and standard errors

If you are interested to see and download more detail about this experiment then see this report.

It’s no surprise that we are getting lots of positive feedback on the experiment from farmers and their advisors all over the potato-growing areas of Colombia. This is the region of the world that gave us all the potato. It feels good to be giving something back. And to be making a positive difference to potato productivity in Colombia possible with Polysulphate.

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Mined in the UK, ICL is the first – and only - producer in the world to mine polyhalite, marketed as Polysulphate