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.
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.
Table 2. Description of the control and SQM treatment.
he 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.
2 litre/ha of a commercially available foliar product with the composition given in Table 3.
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.
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.
Table 4. Comparison of economic analysis between SQM treatment and control.
* = incurred by the treatment