Polysulphate Helps Rice Meet its Full Yield Potential

The results of a trial in Indonesia signpost a strategy to help more of the world’s rice crop reach its full yield potential, by using Polysulphate.

August 3, 2021
2 mins

Indonesia, one of the leading rice producers, produced almost 40 million tons of rice according to recent FAO figures. This is about 8% of global rice production and makes the nation the third largest rice producer in the world.


Fulfilling Ambitious Yield Potential

Estimated future demand for rice in Indonesia means that ambitions targets are required. In order to meet the national harvest target set for 2040, the country aims to improve productivity by 38%; a goal that requires growers to be more and more focused on optimizing the use of fertilizer.


Doing Different to Make a Difference

Rice farmers in Indonesia are familiar with the practice of applying urea with NPK to their rice crop. In a recent trial on two varieties of paddy rice in West Java province, the conventional crop nutrition practice of the area was compared with an alternative strategy which replaced the NPK with Polysulphate – the natural mineral fertilizer containing sulfur, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

The results of using Polysulphate instead of NPK on the rice crop included a 16% yield increase, bigger and stronger panicles, and higher grain weight. There also appeared to be more resistance to lodging, or damage caused by the wind, and improved resistance to common diseases.


Input-Efficient Sustainable Farming

According to the study, rice production accounts for over 14% of the total fertilizer used in agriculture worldwide. If, as this study in Indonesia suggests, switching to Polysulphate provides the balanced nutrition a crop needs, increasing both productivity and the effectiveness of other applied nutrients, then targeted, balanced, fertilizer use can play a key role in more input-efficient and sustainable farming.



The paper Optimizing Rice Fertilization with Polyhalite in Karawang, Indonesia is published in e-ifc 58 by the International Potash Institute.