Managing Potassium in Alfalfa Farming | Protassium+®


The Importance of Potassium

Potassium (K) is one of the three essential macronutrients along with nitrogen and phosphorus. In an alfalfa crop, potassium improves stands and helps plants resist drought and disease. As a result, proper potassium levels in the soil can enhance hay  quality, yield and feed value.

test test

Fostering Growth

The Role of Potassium

Potassium is important for supporting the physiological development of an alfalfa stand by fostering the activation of over 60 plant enzymes. Additionally, potassium is responsible for: 

  • Maintaining optimal water use through regulation of photosynthesis and transpiration.
  • Stimulating nutrient uptake, promoting early growth and improving plant function.
  • Augmenting stomata function through cell turgor, reducing water loss and wilting.
  • Maximizing overall plant health and the crop's ability to withstand disease and drought stress.
  • Boosting winter hardiness and stand longevity.

A lack of potassium can result in plants that fail to reach their full potential. Signs of a deficiency include leaf tip burn -- small white or yellowish spots that first appear around the outer edges of older leaves.



The Elevated Need for Potassium in Alfalfa

In most row crops, the majority of potassium used by the plant is deposited in the stalk, not the grain. While some potassium is removed with the grain, a good portion is returned to the soil by the crop residue that's left behind.

However, in a forage crop like alfalfa, potassium removal is much higher since all of the plant is harvested. That means relatively little of the above-ground residue goes back to the soil, so it's up to the grower to replenish that important potassium.

 Protassium+®  potassium fertilizer can deliver more of the nutrients you need to achieve a higher degree of alfalfa production.


Carrie Laboski, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jerry Clark, Crop & Soil Agent, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Chippewa and Eau Claire Counties