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Potassium (K) is an essential nutrient for normal plant growth and development, which plays a particularly important role in fiber development. Potassium defi- ciency results in decreased fiber quality and lowered yields. If K is limited during active fiber growth, there is a reduction in the turgor pressure of the fiber result- ing in less cell elongation and shorter fibers at maturity. Anything which restricts root growth, such as disease, insect damage, nematodes, root pruning, poor drainage, soil acidity, or compaction, reduces nutrient uptake and may increase K deficiency.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
May 1, 2009