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Haifa Blog


Why potassium chloride isn't good for your crops

Fertilizers containing potassium (K) are often used to compensate for plant deficits. Farmers must supplement this crucial plant nutrient when soils are unable to give the amount of K required by crops. Potash is so called the number of K-containing agricultural fertilizers. The most common source, potassium chloride (KCl), is also known as muriate of potash, or MOP (muriate is the old name for any chloride-containing salt).

Chloride, like potassium, helps with water regulation in plant cells leading to productive cells.  It is one of the 17 basic elements that all plants require in order to grow, produce fruit, and reproduce. 
The term 'essential' refers to chloride's role in photosynthesis, specifically photosystem II, where water molecules are divided to provide extra electrons to the system. 


Because of its low cost and higher K content than most other sources, potassium chloride is the most extensively used K fertilizer. More than 90% of global potash production is used for plant nutrition. 
Farmers apply KCL to the soil's surface before tillage and planting.


But is it really doing good to your crops?

Ion toxicity and ion imbalance Specific ions  affect  plant  development when a relatively high  concentration exceeds  plant demand.  Usually, the dominant ions  that cause  problems are Cl- and  Na+ . Despite their essentiality  -  chloride  and sodium  for most plants these  elements  are  more damaging than  beneficial.  When  these elements are taken  up by the  plants at  high concentration, they  accumulate in the  tissue to  the extent that they  first cause chlorosis  (yellowing and curl), and if the situation continues the tissue  reaches  necrosis. Necrosis is an  irreversible situation  - the tissue looses its  vitality, turns  brown,  leaves curl  and eventually the  plant defoliates. It  has been  proved in  many  fruit trees that  growth  inhibition  and  foliage  injury occur even  at  low NaCl salinization,  which  supports the  notion  that  water  deficit is not the constraint . Ion  toxicity mechanisms  are  believed  to  cause enzyme  reactions, such as inhibition and inadequate compartmentation  between  cytoplasm  and  vacuoles.  Ion imbalance  is  caused  by  interactions  between the  uptake  of  different  ions, where  one  ion affects the uptake, transport or  utilization  of another. The imbalance can  be  caused  by  antagonism  and  competition,  or  by chemical reactions  that  restrict  the uptake  of  ions. Sodium  salinization  is mainly related  to low Ca2+  in the substrate, causing an  imbalance in the  tissue  ratio  for  Na/Ca and displacement of Ca2+  from  the plasma membrane root  hairs .  In  soil with high  phosphorus  availability, NaCl salinity  may  enhance phosphorus  uptake  and depress plant growth  due  to  phosphorus  toxicity. Chloride salinization  may inhibit  NO3- uptake. Calcium disorders High  concentrations  of  Na+ in  the substrate inhibit uptake and  transport  of  Ca2+  and, therefore, may induce calcium  deficiency in  plants  growing in  low  Ca2+  concentration  or  high  Na+/Ca+2  ratios.

So what can you do?

Haifa Group offers a unique product - Multi-K™ Reci.
Multi-K™ Reci is an innovative potassium nitrate formula with near-zero sodium. Ensuring pure, healthy nutrition, Multi-K™ Reci cuts the accumulation of sodium in the irrigation water and the growing medium.
Multi-K™ Reci optimizes water use, and is highly recommended for recirculated irrigation systems.
Sodium is one of the main non-beneficial elements for plants. As it is not uptaken, it accumulates in the irrigation solution and in the growth medium, raise the salinity and might harm plants.
When using fertilizers that contain sodium, growers have to wash the growth substrate in soilless systems, and to drain frequently recirculated systems in oreder to avoid sodium build up.
This requires extra labor, and also has a negative environmental impact.
Multi-K™ Reci cuts sodium accumulation, thus ensuring pure nutrition, optimizing water use,
and saving on labor.

Avoid salinity build-up
Save labor
Minimize pollution

For more information regarding Multi-K™ Reci , Click here.