Russian and Indian scientists have shown that fertilization rock with a high content of glauconite increases wheat yields. In addition, the mineral does not leave in the soil of harmful elements like chlorine. The results of the study presented in the journal Applied Clay Science.
Glauconite is a clay mineral. In the middle Ages it was used as a source of dye pigment. Due to the high content of potassium today it is possible to use as a Traditional fertilizer fertilizers are compounds of potassium with chlorine or sulfate ion. They can lead to salinization of the soil, releasing it chlorine and other elements. The glauconite such elements are absent.
According to experts of Tomsk Polytechnic University, glauconite resources in the world amount to hundreds of millions of tons. Glauconitic breed is a companion breed, and thus remain as waste after the extraction of ores. Scientists of TPU, TSU, Institute of strength physics and materials science SB RAS, JSC “TomskNIPIneft” and the Indian Institute of technology suggested that are rich in glauconite breed with a minimum of mechanical treatment — crushing to sand — can become a fertilizer for the soil. The researchers, supported by the Russian science Foundation grant, were planted on the site in a special cell of the durum wheat. A third of the cells used glauconitic breed and one third by potassium sulphate.
And glauconitic breed, and sulphate of potash gave a yield increase of 20% in relation to the control of the third. The difference between them was only 2% in favor of traditional fertilizers. However, the glauconite as a natural sorbent contributed to the retention of moisture in the soil. Soil analysis showed that the glauconite gave not all useful for potassium, and only a quarter. Fertilizer potassium sulfate is released all potassium at a time.
Glauconite after harvest can continue to do — to give the soil a potassium — two or three growing seasons. In the future, the researchers plan to work with glauconite not only Tomsk region, but other regions of the country where this mineral remains as waste after the extraction of ores.