New potato soil nutrient calculator app released

Great Salt Lake Minerals, a division of Compass Minerals, launched a powerful mobile tool designed to help potato growers and crop consultants make more accurate soil nutrient decisions and maximize yield potential.

The Potato Potassium Uptake Calculator is now available here or is available for download to an iPad device via the Apple App Store for iPad. Those who wish to download the application to an iPad can visit the Apple App Store. Please note that the app is not optimized for the iPhone, because the required data input is not for the small screen. It is also available for Android devices here.

According to Robert Mikkelsen, Ph.D., with the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), "potatoes managed for maximum productivity have a high demand on soil nutrients. 

New potato soil nutrient calculator app releasedIn his 2006 publication, "Best Management Practices for Fertilizer, Mikkelsen points to a study done by Oregon State University in which potatoes removed approximately 515 lb./A of potassium from the soil, and approximately 34 lb./A of sulfur, in addition to other nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium (Table 1, Addendum). 

Numerous University studies have documented the benefits of proper potassium fertilization in potato production. Potassium availability influences the tuber size and yield, in addition to a number of tuber quality factors such as specific gravity, blackspot bruise susceptibility, chip and fry color and storage quality.  Potassium deficiencies decrease photosynthesis, reducing dry matter and starch formation.1 

To learn more about the benefits of using Sulfate of Potash and improving potato quality and quantity, visit

"We wanted to provide potato growers and field consultants with an effective tool to help them understand how much potassium was being removed from their soil, based upon their yield, explained Dave Furbeck, marketing communications manager with Great Salt Lakes Minerals. "We plan to develop additional on-line tools to help potato producers make smart soil nutrient choices and get the most yield potential possible out of their fertilizer budget.

1 J. Stark, D. Westermann and B. Hopkins, "Nutrient Management Guidelines for Russet Burbank Potatoes, University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Extension bulletin #840, 2004.