ifc
international fertilizer correspondent
No 4


Editorial

Feed the soil to feed the people

IPI serves the world
- Bumper yield from balanced fertilization
- Healthy soil for healthy vegetables
- Rice research goes site specific
- Unbalanced fertilization - a cause for concern
- IPI awards for research on potash

News
- Crop protection the healthy way
- Watch the nutrient balance - says PDA
- Calculating supply and demand of soil K in solution
- Acting on soil quality
- Precision agriculture
- Workshop proceedings
- Cotton’s roots reveal the difference

News from the market
- Cereal harvests: meeting global needs now... and in the future?
- Global fertilizer consumption forecast 1998/99 ... some uncertainties

Research findings

New IPI publications

K related publications from other sources

Other editions of IFC

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome to this edition of International Fertilizer Correspondent which is packed, as usual, with news of potash. Research continues to demonstrate that potash is the nutrient that is most often neglected and yet is essential for healthy growth, disease resistance and long-term crop productivity.

The temptation may be to think that it is farmers alone who must be convinced of the value of balanced fertilizer use and yet this is not the case. As our cover photograph shows, it is easy to demonstrate that by feeding the soil, the farmer feeds his crops and, because the return more than repays the cost of fertilizer, by feeding the soil, the farmer also feeds his family! And yet, if the pricing policy is such that farmers cannot afford balanced fertilization, efforts to promote its use are wasted. Governments must adopt pricing policies that are sensitive to the needs and means of farmers if the farmers, in turn, are to contribute to increased national food production. Furthermore, they must convince importers that it is worthwhile to import and distribute potash. The Chairman of The Fertiliser Association of India, Mr V.N. Rai, has called for, "a stable and conducive agriculture policy for increasing productivity and ensuring attractive prices to farmers for their produce." He adds that, "this is necessary to achieve better balance in fertilizer use and to maintain soil health." It seems that balance in fertilizer use can only be achieved if there is balance in pricing policy.

A. Krauss
Director