Potassium makes up almost a third of the nutrient elements in healthy plant tissue, second only to nitrogen and greater than all other mineral elements combined. It is a highly mobile element and plays vital roles in the water relations of cells, the transport of sugars around the plant, and the activation and regulation of many enzymes in the cell’s metabolism.
Potassium deficiency reduces grain yield and has been shown to also reduce grain size leading to higher levels of screenings that can result in downgrading of grain at receival. In addition, K deficiency also reduces the resistance of the plant to fungal diseases and may increase susceptibility to frost.
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