Crop Guides
| How RLF Adds Value to your Crop

RLF plays an important part in the production of food crops in many parts of the world.

RLF is a major contributor to plant health and nutrition, and has developed new and exciting technologies to advance crop quality and yield. It’s ‘Integrated Fertiliser Approach’ has a positive influence on achieving the increased crop yields necessary as demand for food grows.

RLF is committed to its role of providing the best possible outcomes and products for agriculture and is a proud partner to farmers and growers throughout the world.

Browse by Crop Type:

Legumes

Fast Facts
  • Peanuts are a member of the legume family and are thought to have first been domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay and Bolivia some 7,000 years ago.
  • China is the world's biggest producer of peanuts claiming almost 42% of overall world production. India is the second largest producer. Five of the world's top ten peanut producing countries are from Asia
  • The world produces 34.5 million tonnes of peanuts each year
  • Peanuts are known by many names around the world – earth-nuts, ground-nuts, goober peas, pygmy nuts or monkey nuts. But curiously it is not a nut at all.
  • Peanuts are annual herbaceous plants growing 30cm – 50cm tall and their flowers are a typical peaflower in shape, coloured yellow with reddish veining.
  • Although the peanut was used as a garden crop by early civilisations it was mostly used as an animal feed stock.
  • Thousands of peanut cultivars are grown throughout the world but four major cultivar groups stand out as being the most popular. They are Spanish, Runner, Virginia and Valencia.
  • Peanuts have many uses. They can be eaten raw, used in cooking and made into solvents and oils. They are also present in some medicines, cosmetics and textile materials.
  • Across the world peanuts are one of the most popular ingredients in popular confections such as peanut butter, candy and chocolate bars, peanut brittle. They are most popular however as roasted and salted nuts.
  • Peanut Oil is often used in cooking because of its mild flavour and relatively high smoke point. Because it has high monounsaturated content it is considered more healthy than saturated oils.
  • Peanuts have great nutritional value. They provide over 30 essential nutrients to the human body and are a good source of niacin, folate, fibre, vitamin E and magnesium.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.

Legumes

Tubers

Fast Facts
  • The potato is a starchy, tuberous plant from the nightshade Solanum family. S. tuberosum is the most commonly grown species.
  • Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas, from the United States to southern Chile, but genetic testing of available cultivars, as well as wild species, appear to pinpoint its origin as southern Peru and
    north-western Bolivia.
  • China is the worlds largest potato-producing country and nearly one-third of the worlds potatoes are harvested in either China or India.
  • Potatoes are the worlds fourth largest food crop following corn, wheat
    and rice.
  • The annual diet of an average person today includes about 33kg of potato.
  • Potatoes are an essential crop for Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world, however the most rapidly expanding markets are in South East Asia.
  • Just over two-thirds of global production is eaten directly by humans with the rest being fed to animals or used to produce starch.
  • Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60cm high, depending on variety. They bear white, pink, red, blue or purple flowers with yellow stamens and in general the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with coloured flowers tend to bear a range of coloured skins.
  • Long term storage of potatoes requires specialised care in cold warehouses.
  • Due to its perishability, only about 5% of the world's potato crop is traded internationally, therefore it has a minimal presence in world financial markets and a stable price structure.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.

Tubers

Grapes

Fast Facts
  • It is estimated that land size equivalent to 75,000 sq km is dedicated to grape-growing throughout the world, with 70% of the produce used for wine, 27% for fresh fruit and the remainder as dried fruit. The land area planted with vines increases with every year.
  • The worlds top four countries producing grapes for wine-making are Spain, France, Italy and Turkey. Australia is in ninth position.
  • The cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000 – 8,000 years ago in the Near East, believed to be Georgia.
  • Most grapes grown in the world today come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, although there are other species specific to different cultures such as V. amurensis, the most important Asian species.
  • The most widely planted variety of grape is Sultana (Thompson Seedless) with popular wine-making grapes being Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Grenache, Tempranillo, Riesling and Chardonnay.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.
  • Commercially cultivated grapes can usually be classified as either table or wine grapes.
  • The phenomenon termed 'the French paradox' came about when researchers discovered that although the French tend to eat higher levels of animal fat than many other western countries the incidence of heart disease remained low.
  • Grapes bring with them religious significance, as in the Bible grapes are first mentioned when Noah grew them on his farm (see Genesis 9:20-21) and several Old Testament books give instructions concerning the use of wine during Jewish feasts.
  • Grapes featured as an important influence to both the ancient Greeks and the Romans with their god of agriculture Dionysus wearing grape-leaves on 
    his head.

Grapes

Fruits

Fast Facts
  • Citrus fruits are produced all over the world with 70% of production being in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly countries around the Mediterranean and the United States of America.
  • Although researchers believe that citrus fruits began to appear in South East Asia around 4,000BC, worldwide trade in the fruits did not appear until the 19th century and trade in orange juice did not develop until the 1940's.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.
  • Brazil is the largest producer of citrus fruits (predominately oranges) with almost 21 million tonnes. Almost all of Brazil's produce is exported.
  • China is the second largest producer of citrus fruits (predominately tangerines) with almost 20 million tonnes but it is for domestic use rather than export.
  • The United States of America is the third largest producer of citrus fruits with just over 10 million tonnes however 90% of this production supplies the home market.
  • The generally accepted grouping of Citrus Fruits includes the sub-sets of Oranges, Lemons and Limes, Grapefruit, Tangerines and 'All Others'.
  • About one third of citrus fruit production goes for processing – more than 80% of this for orange juice production. Internationally orange juice is traded in the form of frozen concentrate so as to reduce volume and for storage and transportation costs to be kept low.
  • Demand for both fresh and processed oranges continues to rise is excess of current production, especially in developed countries.
  • The two biggest export markets in citrus are based in Florida in the United States and in São Paulo in Brazil.
  • Citrus Canker, a bacterial disease which causes unsightly lesions on all parts of the plant and impacts tree health and yield, can often disrupt supply. Outbreaks in recent years in Australia, Brazil and the US have slowed citrus production.

Fruits

Rice

Fast Facts
  • Rice is the main staple food in Asia, where approximately 90% of the world's rice is produced and consumed.
  • China is the world's biggest producer of rice, growing one-third of Asia's total on 29 million ha, closely followed by India who produces nearly one-quarter of Asia's needs on 43 million ha.
  • There is substantial scope to increase current rice yields, as on average, farmers only achieve about 60% of their yield potential.
  • If the demand for world food is to be met, rice production will need to become more efficient.
  • Better crop, seed and soil nutrition, along with other important agricultural practices are needed if rice production is to be profitable for growers, and for the needs of a hungry world to be met.
  • There are four main types of rice – Indica, Japonica, aromatic and glutinous.
  • A rice plant can grow from 1m – 1.8m tall, depending on the variety and soil fertility. The grass has long, slender leaves 50cm – 100cm long and 2cm – 2.5cm wide. The small wind-pollinated flowers are produced in a branched arching to pendulous inflorescence 30cm – 50cm long. The edible seed is a grain 5cm – 12mm long and 2cm – 3mm thick.
  • About 75% of the global rice production comes from irrigated rice systems because most rice varieties express their full yield potential when water supply is adequate.
  • In most Asian countries traditional hand methods of cultivating and harvesting rice are still practised. The fields are allowed to drain before cutting and manual harvesting involves the use of sharp knives or sickles and traditional threshing tools. Animals are often used for trampling.
  • In Australia the growing of rice is concentrated in the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys of southern New South Wales and northern Victoria. There are eleven different varieties of rice grown in this region.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.

Rice

Cotton

Fast Facts
  • Cotton is an ancient crop with its roots in antiquity. Dating evidence tells us that it's thread was used at least 7,000 years ago.
  • The current estimate for world cotton production is approximately 25 million tonnes, equivalent to 110 million bales annually.
  • China is the world's largest producer of cotton, with most of it being used domestically, followed by India, USA, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
  • Cotton is a major commercial crop of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida.
  • The most commonly grown commercial species of cotton is Gossypium hirsutum, an upland cotton, native to the Central Americas. It represents 90% of world production.
  • Successful cultivation of cotton requires a long frost-free period, plenty of sunshine and a moderate rainfall, although irrigated farming is proving to be successful subject to the availability of water.
  • Cotton can be grown in colours of brown, pink and green, but fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have seen coloured varieties banned in some countries or growing regions.
  • A single plant of cotton can produce up to 75 bolls.
  • Root development dominates the early growth of the cotton plant. It is estimated that the tap-root may be as deep as 25cm by the time the first cotyledons appear.
  • Most cotton in the developed world is harvested mechanically, either by a cotton picker (a machine that removes the cotton from the boll without damaging the plant) or by a cotton stripper (a machine that strips the entire boll from the plant).
  • In Australia cotton is grown in Queensland and New South Wales and growers have been producing this crop since 1921.
  • Cold soils, seedling health, low soil pH, water stress, hard pans and soil damaged by pesticides can all lead to poor crop performance but with careful crop management this potential poor performance can be turned around. An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance a cotton crop's quality and yield.

Cotton

Wheat

Fast Facts
  • World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined.
  • The global wheat market was estimated at 708.5 million tons in 2013.
  • Globally, wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human food, having a higher protein content than other major cereal crops.
  • In terms of total outputs for food production, wheat is currently second to rice as the main human food crop.
  • The top wheat producing region in the world is the European Union, followed by China, India, USA, the Russias and Australia.
  • Wheat is one of the first cereals known to have been domesticated, and its ability to self-pollinate would have enhanced its survival. Archaeological record suggests that wheat may have first been domesticated around the year 9,000BC.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products is proven to greatly enhance crop quality and yield.
  • Wheat is a staple food used to make flour. It spans many cultures and many food products including breads of all types, cereals, pasta, couscous, biscuits, cakes and noodles. It is also used in the fermentation process to make beer and other alcoholic beverages.
  • There are many by-products of wheat such as forage food for livestock, straw for thatching and building construction material. Bran and wheat-germ are also considered by-products of the milling process.
  • Technological advances in the preparation of soil and seed placement at planting time and the use of crop rotation and fertilisers to improve plant growth have all combined to promote wheat as a viable crop.
  • In rapidly developing Asian countries, with the westernisation of diets, wheat is increasingly in demand at the expense of other staple foods.

Wheat

Vegetables

Fast Facts
  • Tomatoes are the most commonly grown above ground vegetable crop in the world with approximately 150 million tonnes of tomatoes grown each year.
  • China is the world's biggest producer of tomatoes growing close to 50 million tonnes annually. The United States of America is the second largest producer followed by India, Turkey and Egypt.
  • Australia ranks 47th in the world as a commercial tomato grower with approximately 300,00 tonnes grown annually.
  • The tomato is the edible, mostly red fruit of the nightshade Solanum lycopersicum. Whilst it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes which sometimes adds to confusion.
  • The plant originated in the South American Andes with its food use originating from Mexico. It then spread rapidly throughout the world following the colonisation of South America by the Spanish.
  • Cultivated tomatoes vary in size however the most widely grown commercial varieties tend to be in the 5cm – 6cm diameter range.
  • Tomatoes grown specifically for canning are often elongated and known as plum tomatoes. They have a lower water content. The USA produces 35% of the world's canned tomatoes and they are mostly grown in California.
  • Tomato growing responds well to the hydroponic environment and is often used in hostile growing environments as a viable way of providing access to the vegetable.
  • The tomato is consumed in diverse ways including as a raw vegetable and as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads and drinks.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.

Vegetables

Corn

Fast Facts
  • The United States of America is the biggest producer of corn, (known as maize in many parts of the world), followed by China and Brazil.
  • It is estimated that the USA has 35 million ha under cultivation for corn and it accounts for almost 40% of the world's total market.
  • Corn originated from the middle-Americas and was commonly cultivated by the Mayans. It is believed that corn has been traded since about 2500BC based on old trade networks dealing with surplus crops.
  • Sugar-rich varieties of corn are usually grown for human consumption, while field corn varieties are used for livestock.
  • The corn plant often grows to 2.5m in height though some natural strains grow much taller. The stem has the appearance of a bamboo cane and is commonly composed of 20 internodes 18cm in length. A leaf then grows from each node and ears develop along the midsection of the plant.
  • Certain varieties of corn have been bred to produce many additional developed ears. These are the source of the 'baby corn' used as a vegetable in Asian cooking.
  • In temperate zones corn must always be planted in spring as it is cold-intolerant and its root system is generally shallow, therefore dependent upon soil moisture.
  • Maize and cornmeal (ground dried maize) is the staple food in many regions of the world. Corn is central to Mexican food and it is used in virtually every dish as tortillas, tamales, tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas.
  • Popcorn is corn's most popular snack food in the developed world, however there are many variations on the theme of exploding kernels when heated in other countries and cultures.
  • Corn (or 'feed maize') is increasingly being used for the production of ethanol fuel because of the lower amount of pollutants emitted when used to drive motor vehicles. This makes corn a very valuable commodity.
  • The use of corn for bio-fuels increases its demand and therefore the price of corn. This has resulted in farm acreage being diverted from some food crops to corn production.
  • An Integrated Fertiliser Program using RLF products can greatly enhance crop quality and yield.

Corn

Pasture

Fast Facts
  • Several species of Clover are extensively cultivated as fodder plants
  • Often Clover is sown alone, however as a mixture with Rye-grass it has, for a long time, formed a staple crop for both soil rejuvenation and for livestock
  • It produces an abundant crop and can often reduce the cost of fertiliser as it is a nitrogen fixer
  • When crop rotations are managed so that clover does not recur at intervals shorter than eight years, it grows with much of its pristine vigour

Pasture
Fertigation
Specialised Product for Irrigation Plant Milk High-K contains 6 essential nutrients, chelates, soluble carbohydrates, phosp...
Ultra Foliar
Leaf
Solving the Nutrient Deficiency Problem Every crop, and every plant, has a quantitatively different nutrient need. But the ...
Root Boost
Solving the Nutrient Deficiency Problem Every crop, and every plant, has a quantitatively different nutrient need. But the ...
  • Be better informed about RLF's extensive range of world-leading products.

  • Knowledge centre for RLF products, results, outcomes and services.

  • Fully explained – the Application Guides for all RLF products.

  • An incredible array of technical information and data now available.

  • SDS

    Safety Data Sheets are a necessary part of agricultural product production.

  • Online tools and calculators for RLF products and information. Click Here

Tech Bulletins
  • This Technical Bulletin (TB) provides a compre... register to view
  • This Technical Bulletin (TB) discusses the opt... register to view
  • This bulletin is to be used as a guide for a g... register to view
Test