IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Editorial: e-ifc No. 24, September 2010

Editorial

Dear readers,

Detailed fertilizer recommendation for irrigated rice described in Wuhu county.
Detailed fertilizer recommendation for irrigated rice described on a billboard distributed in Wuhu county, Anhui Province, China. The recommendations are detailed for three levels of N and P and four levels of K fertility in soil, adapted to different rice seasons (early rice, later rice or single rice) under the expected yield. This procedure, backed by rigorous soil sampling and analysis, allows a higher degree of efficient nutrient use. Photo by IPI.

In November 2009, IPI, together with key partners, organized a large symposium in Orissa, India focusing on the role of potassium in food production and security, covering various aspects of nutrient management in selected crops and the environment. Besides having the opportunity to network and share experiences and exchange knowledge with many scientists, we are pleased to report a welcome legacy that has resulted from this meeting. The journal Plant and Soil is dedicating a special edition of selected papers presented at the symposium. The nine selected papers are preceded by an editorial from guest editor, Prof. Ismail Cakmak, who was the scientific mind behind the symposium. The papers are available in Plant and Soil Online.

Another outcome of this meeting in Orissa last year was the creation of an ad-hoc team to review the need to change potassium recommendations for vertisols in India. You will find out more about this new development on page 21/22.

With favorable policies and a good environment, farmers have an opportunity to enhance their crop productivity and their incomes. A report in The Economist (26 August 2010) highlights the success story of Brazilian agriculture, supported by well-established policies and a strong scientific arm (EMBRAPA) and, of course, with plentiful land and water. But that story can be replayed in many other regions, if farmers are provided with the right conditions. We at IPI believe that much of the additional food required to meet increasing global demand can be produced simply by doing things right, and by doing so improve yields two-to-four fold. It is possible in Africa, for example.

In this issue of e-ifc you will find various research reports including the use of fertigation in sugarcane production in India, which can significantly reduce the amounts of nutrients and water required. This application has considerable potential for many regions around the world. A comprehensive report on the effect of potassium (K) on yield and quality of tobacco leaves is featured with findings provided from China, Cuba and France. And a large-scale experiment on the efficiency of K fertilizer is also reported from China. In addition, as always, we bring you updates of events, new scientific publications and more.

I wish you all an enjoyable read.

Hillel Magen
Director

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