Boosting brassicas with polyhalite

5 May 2016

Brassicas, such as cauliflower and cabbage, are big in the Indian diet and important cash crops to many farmers in that country. Recent research by two Indian scientists has proved that polyhalite fertilizer, marketed as Polysulphate, can provide what these brassica crops need to help achieve peak performance.

the difference polyhalite fertilizer makes to cabbage yield is clear to see

Perfect balance of plant nutrients
That sulphur is an important plant macronutrient is widely understood. It is associated with high yield and good quality, particularly in brassicas. As one of the main nutrients in polyhalite, the natural mineral consisting of hydrated sulphate of potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) which is commercially known as Polysulphate, it is bound to be good for growth. But this latest research in India set out to test the bioefficacy of polyhalite on the performance of two major Brassica oleracea crops: cauliflower and cabbage.

Polyhalite pushes production up
G.C. Satisha and A.N. Ganeshamurthy, Principal Scientists with ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research have published their findings on polyhalite.

They report that sulphur application gave rise to significantly increased yield and quality of the two crops. According to the Indian research results, “the highest yields of cabbage and cauliflower, 32.8 and 39.5% more than the control, respectively, were obtained with 100% and 75% of the recommended N-P-K and S doses, respectively, delivered through polyhalite.”

Understanding interconnected plant nutrition
Whilst it is useful to focus on one plant nutrient, such as sulphur, it is also important to recognise the important and productive inter-relationship between all the nutrients present in polyhalite.

As the Indian research report reveals, the potassium contained in polyhalite fertilizer enhanced sulphur uptake, while in turn, the sulphur appeared to promote phosphorus and calcium uptake.

With our polyhalite, the activity - or bioefficacy as the researchers refer to it - of this remarkable, naturally occurring, mined fertilizer is more than the sum of its parts. And is why it continues to be proved to be such a powerful tool producing remarkable results whether that be for Brassicas or other crops.