Florida is known for its warm temperatures, many days of sunshine, and lush growth. It sounds like the perfect place to raise cattle, especially when compared to some cold areas of the United States that have trouble growing enough forage for their cattle. However, many areas are suffering from lack of potassium (K) in their soil, and Florida ranchers are not exempt from this problem. Learn more about how research in Florida can help ranchers everywhere in today’s blog, and visit our website for more information about grasses for your cattle.
What Does Potassium Do?
Potassium is one of the most important nutrients in the soil. It helps grasses develop strong root systems so they can better resist drought and disease. Unfortunately, a large percentage of soils sampled across the U.S. show below critical levels of potassium, with 75% of samples collected from Florida showing these levels.
How Does Soil Lose Potassium?
When forage and grasses are grown, these plants take up nutrients from the soil. However, many soils are not able to replenish their nutrients quickly enough. Soils can also suffer from leaching of potassium, where minerals are moved around due to water movement from rainwater or erosion.
Do Plants Need Potassium?
If plants are not getting adequate levels of nutrients, it’s not a matter of if your forage will suffer, but when. This will eventually result in lower yields, less nutritious forage for your cattle, and lower weight gains.
How Can Potassium Levels Be Restored?
Research shows it’s important to perform soil analysis and speak with your local agriculture offices to learn about regional soil needs. The grasses typically grown in Florida are responsive to increased nitrogen levels, but eventually a nutritional balance of supplements, including potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, will be required. To learn more about our farm, join us for an agritour.
We’re committed to ensuring our grasses get the proper nutrition so we can pass those benefits along to you in our grass-fed beef. Visit our website to learn how you can get your own today.