SOPWA research project

Sulphate of Potash for WA Farmers (SOPWA) research project includes two high-quality trials where scientists are scrutinising the effectiveness of SOP compared with MOP on soils, plants and production.

Western Australia's soils are the oldest in the world, but over time mineral mining with historical farming practices have left many areas of the state's lands deprived of potassium. The lessons and information we extrapolate from the trials will be relevant for soils across Australia.

Time and money have been invested in these trials because Australian farmers need a commercially and environmentally friendly Australian solution for improving their soils and therefore their production.

Broadacre Study

Farmers want to increase both the quality and quantity of their end product. They have a vested interest in helping their soils. SOP can do all of this, but it needs to be commercially viable for farmers to use it. With this in mind, we're embarking on the Australian first field trial program of SOP.

For the field trials, we've chosen to team up with some of WA's largest farming groups because they have the required deep understanding of their land. From Geraldton to Esperance, the field trials will compare SOP and MOP on different broadacre crops, and in various soils. We expect that we will see a more significant response from plants given SOP over MOP.

The field trials started during the 2019 seeding season and will follow strict research methodology. To ensure complete independence, the WA No-Tillage Farmers Association will take charge. Our role is only to provide SOP product and finance.

We value input and inclusion, which is why we're also working with farmer groups to find an Australian price point and also to find ways to supply direct to rural communities.

Plant Growth Facility Study

We understand that an essential conversation with Australian SOP end-users is about economics. Farmers need measurable results.

The UWA controlled environment study will provide measurable results by using peer-reviewed academic research to complement the field trials.

The University of Western Australia's School of Agriculture and Environment is ranked first in Australia and "well above world standards" for its academic research. We are delighted that the chair and director of this school, Professor Kadambot Siddique, along with research fellow and microbiologist, Dr Zakaria Solaiman will be taking charge of the UWA SOP Hothouse Trials.

These trials will quantify differences in yield and quality between SOP and MOP.  They will investigate what SOP does to soil biology in comparison to MOP. This has never been done before.