K (potassium) base saturation soil test

Asked October 3, 2014, 11:48 AM EDT

While watching a TV show about farming they talked about having your base saturation level for K (potassium) between 4-8 to raise good corn and soybeans and to reduce lodging in corn. I have optimum to high testing soils on my farms and replace the yield removals on every acre every year, but very few of my grids are at 4 or above for K base saturation. Please advise on what base saturation means and why it is important (or IF it is important) to raising a good corn and soybean crop. Or, is just paying attention to my PPM soil test grids and my yield removals enough? Thanks.

Missouri corn soybeans

1 Response

I apologize for the delay. We occasionally receive questions on base saturation and I believe the concept was propagated by Dr. Albrecht's book on soil fertility years ago. The current thinking in Missouri is to base K recommendations on desired soil test levels and crop removal. This has been a successful approach and is research-based and effective. Our lab can figure base saturation but it is not reported on soil tests since we do not espouse this approach. My suspicion is that the K base saturation will be met if you follow these guidelines. I hope this helps.