IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Research Findings: e-ifc No. 48, March 2017

Soybean harvest in Brazil. Photo by ICL Brazil

Introducing Polyhalite to Brazil: First Steps of a New Fertilizer

Vale, F.(1)*, and D.R. Sério(2)
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Abstract

(1)IPI Coordinator Latin America, International Potash Institute (IPI), Zug, Switzerland
(2)ICL, Agronomy Supervisor, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
Corresponding author: fabio.vale@ipipotash.org

Being among the world’s leading agricultural producers, Brazil imports and uses huge amounts of fertilizer, yearly. High soil acidity, adverse side-effects of liming and poor soil fertility challenge the efficacy of conventional fertilizers. Alternative options are required to overcome poor potassium (K) recovery in the soil, deprived calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) mobility in the soil profile, and excess soil-chloride concentrations. Fertilizers also need to meet the crop demand for sulfate (SO42-); soil levels of which gradually decline over time to below critical levels. An examination of polyhalite, an evaporate mineral comprised of S, Ca, Mg, and K, has revealed equivalent effectiveness in supporting the nutrient requirements of rice when compared to corresponding soluble salts. In a soybean field test, polyhalite showed enhanced Ca and Mg mobility in the soil profile, as well as equivalent effectiveness as a K-donor compared to potassium chloride (KCl). This report discusses the potential of polyhalite to contribute to the Brazilian agricultural production.

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