Polysulphate Helps Rice Meet its Full Yield Potential
The results of a trial in Tamil Nadu, India, signpost a strategy to help more of the world’s rice crop reach its full yield potential, by using Polysulphate.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, area under Paddy production stands at 45416 thousand hectares as of FY 2021-22. India, one of the leading rice producers, produced almost 130 million tons of rice in FY 2021-22 according to recent figures. This is about a fifth of global rice production making India the world’s second-largest producer of rice, and the largest exporter.
Fulfilling Ambitious Yield Potential
Estimated future demand for rice in India means that ambitions targets are required. In order to meet the national harvest targets, the country aims to improve its per hectare productivity which stands at 2809 kg/hectare for the aforementioned period; a goal that requires growers to be more and more focused on optimizing the use of fertilizers.
Doing Different to Make a Difference
Rice farmers in India 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 Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, 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 up to 25% 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 India 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.
Annual Reports, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India