By Libby Rens, PhD
How does OMRI Listed Intrepid Potash impact you and your organic farm?
Applying Intrepid OMRI Listed Muriate of Potash (MOP) means that you are using an American, natural fertilizer produced in a sustainable way for your organic farm. For growers like you who are looking to supplement their organic fertility program with additional potassium, OMRI Listed Intrepid MOP is an easy win.
MOP is the highest-grade potassium source used by farmers – meaning MOP has the greatest energy efficiency for application and reduces fossil fuel input during application. Intrepid Potash produces MOP using a natural, sustainable method, so it is approved for use on organic farms. Most impressive is Intrepid’s ability to offer potash by using natural resources like the sun, reducing reliance on consumable resources like fossil fuels.
What does this process look like? Let’s walk through how OMRI-Listed MOP gets delivered from the Earth to your fields to our plates.
Intrepid’s MOP is derived from a naturally occurring mineral called sylvinite, which contains only about 1/3 MOP. You wouldn’t want to put sylvinite on your crops, though, because the rest is mostly halite, otherwise called NaCl (like table salt!).
Solar Solution Evaporation
The most innovative aspect of Intrepid’s MOP is that they utilize solar solution mining. MOP from other companies is primarily produced using traditional underground mining with people, large equipment, fuel, and resources below ground to grind the mineral out of the Earth, using a large amount of consumable resources like oil, gas, and fuel.
In contrast, Intrepid uses water and natural salts to dissolve the underground minerals, which is brought up to the surface for drying in the sun. This sustainable method has a much smaller carbon footprint and eliminates the risk and resource consumption associated with traditional underground mining.
At this point in the journey, the solution is only around 7-10% MOP. Once the dissolved solution is aboveground, Intrepid uses the sustainable power of the sun to dry the product. Hot and sunny days are ideal here, while rain or cloudy days can slow the process. So while Intrepid’s solar solution mining uses less consumable resources than traditional underground mining, it does require the less tangible resource of Time and Patience.
Remove the Salt from Plant Nutrients
Remember, what comes out of the ground is a mixture of MOP and NaCl. So, these need to be separated. The mixture is moved through floatation cells where they are separated. The NaCl falls to the bottom, and the MOP floats to the top, where it can be skimmed off. The concentration of MOP at this stage is about 85%, so close!
Drying is finalized in a direct-fired rotary drier, where the mineral gets shortly heated to 350 F to drive off any residual moisture and trace impurities. The MOP is then mechanically screened to ensure uniformity and remove the dust for excellent handling. Now we have a final plant nutrition product that is ready for your crops!
The NaCl salt that’s leftover as a byproduct isn’t wasted either. Its reused in the process, incorporated in animal feed, or recycled for industrial applications.
From alfalfa in Wisconsin to corn in Iowa to cabbage in Florida to potatoes in Washington, MOP is the most relied upon potassium source for farmers to produce healthy food and grain. Intrepid MOP is also a key ingredient in animal feed! Intrepid Potash is uniquely the only US producer of conventional or OMRI Listed MOP. We are proud to provide local, quality, and sustainable fertilizer sourced from the USA. Intrepid has strategic locations for domestic rail and truck transport and to port for international shipment.
How Do I Meet Crop Needs with OMRI Listed Intrepid Potash?
Testing your soil to measure the nutrients you are missing is a key first step. Make up for the potassium deficit by supplementing your fertilizer program with OMRI-Listed Intrepid MOP Potash or OMRI-Listed Intrepid Trio®;. These fertilizers can be custom blended with other nutrients, making for easy and precise application to your field. Intrepid Potash and Trio® have guaranteed nutrient analyses, are soluble and are immediately available to the plant. Visit IntrepidPotash.com/Organics to learn more about nutrition for your crops!