Sirius Minerals, which has plans to build a major new potash mine in the North York Moors, said crop trials carried out by researchers using its POLY4 fertiliser have been very positive.
POLY4 is created from granulating polyhalite, which is a potash mineral found in its York Potash project in North Yorkshire. It is thought to be the largest, highest-grade polyhalite deposit in the world.
The results of the study on cabbages carried out by the University of Florida showed that POLY4 delivered a 105 per cent increase in cabbage yields compared with MOP, the traditional source of potash, and a seven per cent increase in yield compared with SOP, the premium potassium fertiliser.
Analyst Paul Smith at WH Ireland said: “Sirius continues to show the benefits of using POLY4 as an effective fertiliser as it contains a balanced range of nutrients. These benefits can be put in context by understanding the scale of food production – the cabbage industry alone is estimated to be a US$17bn (£10.4bn) industry – the obvious benefits of increased yields are easy to see. We maintain our ‘buy’ recommendation.”
Sirius said that the major global cabbage producers are China, the US, India, Russia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
China dominates the cabbage market, producing 47 per cent of the 70 million tonnes of cabbages that are produced around the world every year.
Sirius CEO Chris Fraser said: “It has been encouraging to see the positive results of POLY4 on a more fertiliser-sensitive crop such as cabbages which are known for their precise demands from the nutrient source.
“POLY4, which has a range of nutrients, coupled with appropriate nutrient release rates, is an effective and quality fertiliser.”