19% Yield Increase in Barley by the Application of Qrop™ K Plus and Speedfol™ Cereal SP

The Bajío region is one of the main areas for growing winter-barley in Mexico. This barley is used for beer production. A local company, "Impulsora Agricola" takes care of storing and marketing the grains. As the current barley consumption in the country is higher than its production, the company seeks ways to increase the yields.

Objectives:
1. Validation of the benefit of using potassium nitrate (KNO3) as a source of potassium, by applying it in the form of a formulated Speedfol™ Cereal SP foliar spray product.

2. Check the benefit of Qrop™ K Plus (prilled potassium nitrate based NPK 14-0-40) by soil application by side-dressing with the aim of increasing yield and quality of the crop.

Table 1. Location and crop data of the experiment.

Location

Salamanca, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Sowing date:

January 20, 2014

Aplication date:

February 17, 2014

Harvest date:

May 4, 2014


Table 2. Description of the control and SQM treatment.

Base dressing - Control SQM Treatment

Time

Fertilizers
(kg/ha)

Appl. Rate
(kg/ha)

N
(kg/ha)

P2O5
(kg/ha)

K2O
(kg/ha)

Sowing

DAP

150

27

69

 

Ammonium Sulfate

100

21

 

 

Potassium Sulfate

50

 

25

 

Ammonia

150

123

 

 

Total

 

450

171

69

25

Side dressing

Side dressing

Urea

300

138

 

 

Foliar

Commercial foliar product

2L

 

 

 

Total

 

300

138

 

 

Side dressing / SQM Treatment

Side dressing

Urea

300

138

 

 

Qrop™ K Plus

130

18

 

 

Foliar

Speedfol™ Cereal SP

5

 

52

 

Total

 

435

156

 

52


The trial was conducted in a plot of 10,3 ha of barley grown by a cooperating farmer. The treatment was carried out on 4,6 ha, while 5,7 ha served as the untreated control. Table 2 shows total fertilizer applications on both the SQM treatment and the control. Base dressing application was equal for the control and the SQM treatment.

Control:
2 litre/ha of a commercially available foliar product with the composition given in Table 3.

SQM treatment:
130 kg/ha of Qrop™ K Plus + 5 kg/ha of Speedfol™ Cereal SP.


Figure 1. Photos from the trial field.

Table 3. Product composition of foliar product used in control treatment.

P2O5

25,64%

Boron

0,52

K2O

38,05%

Manganese

0,05%

Zinc

0,06%

Cooper

0,04%

Iron

0,04%

 

 


Table 4 sums-up the yields and the economic results obtained by the two treatments described above.

This experiment shows a very positive response of the barley crop to the application of both SQM products Qrop™ K Plus and Speedfol™ Cereal SP. A remarkable yield increase of 1.030 kg per hectare (19%) was obtained. This yield increase more than compensates for the additional costs incurred by SQM treatment, and increases in the grower's net income with 182 US$/ha, above the current growers' management.

Cuadro 4. Comparación análisis económico entre SQM tratamiento y testigo.

Treatment

Yield
(kg/ha)

Yield value
(kg/ha)

Total income
(kg/ha)

Additional costs
(US$/ha)*

Net income
(US$/ha)

SQM

6.340

292

1.850

135

1.716

Control

5.310

292

1.551

17

1.534

Difference

1.030

0

301

118

182

* = incurred by the treatment

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