Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Fertilizer inputs, nutrient balance, and soil nutrient-supplying power in intensive, irrigated rice systems. I. Potassium uptake and K balance

  • A. Dobermann
  • P. C. Sta. Cruz
  • K. G. Cassman


Research in many countries indicates a negative K balance in intensive, irrigated rice systems but comparative studies across different environments are few. Using a uniform sampling methodology, we measured K uptake, K use efficiency, and K balance in six different fertilizer treatments of long-term fertility experiments with rice at 11 sites in five Asian countries. Depending on the absolute yield level, K uptake requirements of rice ranged from 17 to 30 kg K per ton of grain. For yields greater than 8 t ha-1, total K uptake exceeded 200 kg ha-1. The K balance at most experimental sites was negative, with an average net removal of 34–63 kg K season-1. There was significant depletion of soil K reserves at many sites. Based on these data, we estimated that the amount of K cycled annually from the soil into rice plants is 7–10 million t in irrigated rice systems of Asia. About 1 million t of this total amount is removed with the harvested grain. Present recommendations for K addition in most intensive irrigated rice domains are insufficient to replace K removal. However, response to K can only be expected on soils with deficient supply capacity and where other nutrients, particularly N and P, are not limiting. Efficient K management for rice must therefore be based on the K input/output balance, the achievable yield target, and the effective K-supplying power of the soil.

Key words

long-term experiments nutrient balance potassium rice potassium use efficiency potassium uptake potassium response 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Dobermann
    • 1
  • P. C. Sta. Cruz
    • 1
  • K. G. Cassman
    • 1
  1. 1.International Rice Research InstituteManilaPhilippines

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