The York Potash project has reported encouraging news from crop trials showing that polyhalite (a high-performing potash mineral found in North Yorkshire) boosted tomato and potato yields.
The project, which is expected to get final planning permission next month, received results from independent studies undertaken in Brazil at the University of Sao Paulo.
The trials showed that polyhalite applied as a straight fertiliser improved tomato yields by six per cent over the control and by 15 per cent when used as part of a blend. Sirius Minerals, the company behind the York Potash Project, said the studies showed that polyhalite also improved quality.
The potatoes grown using a polyhalite blend achieved the same yield using 68 per cent less product than the local commercial option.
Chris Fraser, CEO of Sirius, said: “Tomatoes and potatoes are two very large markets globally and these results further demonstrate that polyhalite provides the farmer with an economical option to lower input costs, increase yields and get an overall better quality product.”
Last week Sirius announced an update on planning with regards to the final permit from the North York Moors Park Authority.
Planning officers have indicated their final report will have an “open” recommendation. Analysts see this as a good sign that the project will get the go-ahead.
Analysts at Liberum said: “This means that it will be up to the members to determine if the economic benefits of the project outweigh the negative impact of the project on the park’s landscape.
“From our perspective this looks a very positive development.”