5 Reasons to Choose Polyhalite (Polysulphate)

Digging into the science behind polyhalite—Polysulphate®

November 14, 2023
3 mins
Dr. Jason Haegele
North American Agronomy Lead, ICL

Today, farmers and growers are continually seeking simple and efficient ways to maximize crop yields while minimizing environmental impact. Polyhalite — mined and sold exclusively by ICL Growing Solutions as Polysulphate® — has continued to gain significant attention.  But if you’re like me, you’re not content with just knowing that something works; you want to understand why it works, so let’s dig into some of the science behind polyhalite.

1)  Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) is a natural 4-in-1 source of nutrients

Polyhalite (K2Ca2Mg(SO4)4 • 2H2O), a natural mineral, has garnered attention for its incredible potential to revolutionize sustainable agriculture practices.  Looking at its composition, this crystalline mineral contains potassium, sulfur, magnesium, and calcium in plant-available sulfate form. But it’s not just about the elements themselves; it’s also the ratios that matter. These nutrients – four of the six essential macro-nutrients required for optimal plant growth – are present in just the right proportions to support optimal plant growth. Because of this balanced nutrient profile, Polysulphate is not just ideal for one type of crop or one specific soil type; rather, our research shows it is suitable for a wide range of agricultural scenarios. Whether you’re growing tubers, grains, vegetables, or fruit and nut trees, Polysulphate can help meet your crops’ specific nutrient needs.

2)Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) gradually releases nutrients

Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) has unique sustained-release characteristics that deliver nutrients over time.  Instead of delivering nutrients all at once, polyhalite gradually releases over an extended period, aligning with plant demand. Since the natural, sustained-release composition matches the uptake requirements of most crops, it reduces the risk of nutrient loss through leaching or runoff and improves nutrient uptake. It’s like a perfectly timed, continuous nutrient infusion for your plants. Our lab demonstration uses a rain simulator to show how Polysulphate dissolves over time:

3) Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) supports sustainable nutrient management

For those of us who don’t want to greenwash sustainability goals, Polysulphate (polyhalite) offers a truly sustainable approach to nutrient management. As a naturally occurring sulfate-based multi-nutrient, Polysulphate—available as a granule or powder— requires no chemical separation or industrial processing, delivering high agronomic value for low environmental impact with a low carbon footprint. Not only is ICL’s Polysulphate OMRI approved, but the sustained-release mechanism also minimizes environmental impacts. Even with a fall application, the likelihood of nutrient runoff or leaching during the rainy season is reduced, protecting water bodies, and reducing costly nutrient loss.

Taking a deeper look at soil health, Polysulphate (polyhalite) naturally contains both calcium and magnesium, which have a profound effect on soil structure. These minerals encourage soil flocculation, helping to reduce compaction and erosion. This results in better aeration, root development, and water infiltration, leading to healthier, more resilient crops. In simple terms, it improves the air and water exchange properties of your soil, promoting root development and enhancing soil health. It’s a win-win-win for your crops, your bottom line, and the planet.

4) Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) is a versatile, cost-effective solution

While Polysulphate offers the benefits of a premium fertilizer, its multifaceted benefits make it a value-driven choice for farmers in the long run. It is soluble, plant-available, and easy to blend and spread, making it a cost-effective multi-nutrient solution. As a low chloride, low salinity, neutral pH fertilizer, with no liming effect, it can be easily blended with SOP or MOP as an added source of K.  Its sustained-release nature can help reduce application frequency and improve uptake, saving on labor and cutting down on the input costs.

5) Polyhalite (Polysulphate®) improves yield and quality

Polysulphate has been proven to improve yield by providing crops with a balanced and consistent supply of essential nutrients, promoting efficient nutrient uptake, and enabling plants to thrive under various environmental conditions. Not only does it provide the essential nutrients crops need, but it also contributes to better overall crop quality. The balanced nutrient composition can positively impact the texture, storage potential, and marketable qualities of your produce. This can be particularly important for growers who focus on producing high-quality fruits, vegetables, or specialty crops. In potatoes, for example, we’ve seen a reduction in hollow heart, improved skin quality, and improved storability.  Our trials show not only an increase in yield but importantly an increase in marketable yield and quality.

Why Wait on Polysulphate?

In the world of agriculture, science is the driving force behind innovation and progress. Polysulphate offers a compelling array of benefits for growers who seek to improve both the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural practices. It simplifies nutrient management, enhances crop quality, and has a positive impact on soil health while being environmentally responsible.

Get prepared for spring and reach out to your local Polysulphate expert today.