DEFINITION of 'Potash'

Potash, from the Dutch potaschen, meaning "pot ashes," is the common name for any of several compounds containing potassium, such as potassium carbonate (K2CO3), potassium oxide (K2O) and potassium chloride (KCl). These compounds are used primarily in the manufacture of fertilizer.


Potash was originally made by saturating wood ashes in water, then heating the mix in an iron pot until the liquid evaporated, leaving a white residue called "pot ash". Potash is used in fertilizers, soap, and glass and ceramics manufacturing. Potassium is the seventh most abundant element in our planet's crust, with most reserves found in Canada.

  1. Manufacturing Production

    The creation and assembly of components and finished products ...
  2. Common Resource

    A resource, such as water or pasture, that provides users with ...
  3. Supply Management

    A broad term describing the various acts of identifying, acquiring ...
  4. Inventory

    The raw materials, work-in-process goods and completely finished ...
  5. Goods In Process

    An inventory account that is usually identified on the balance ...
  6. Crop-Hail Insurance

    A type of insurance that insures against crop damage caused by ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    The 5 Biggest Canadian Mining Companies

    Learn about the largest Canadian mining companies by market capitalization, including potash production, gold production and other rare minerals.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Will PotashCorp Ever Make a Comeback?

    Learn whether PotashCorp will make a comeback. Potash was in a major bull market from 2000 to 2008 before falling over 50% in 2008.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Investing In Oil And Gas UITs

    Unit investment trusts provide direct exposure to the energy sector, fueling better returns.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mine For Profits With Natural Resource Sector Funds

    These funds allow everyday investors to get in on the action in this promising sector.
  5. Investing Basics

    When Will it Be Safe to Buy Commodities?

    When will it be safe to buy commodities (and which ones)? A closer look at the commodities markets and how they move.
  6. Investing News

    Farmers Markets—Gaining Ground in Grocery Sector

    Farmers markets have gained a solid foothold in the grocery sector, but it seems that large retailers will retain the lion's share of the industry.
  7. Chart Advisor

    Agriculture Commodities Are In The Bear's Sights

    Agriculture stocks have experienced strong moves higher over recent weeks, but chart patterns on sugar, corn and wheat are suggesting the moves could be short lived.
  8. Economics

    The 4 Countries That Produce the Most Food

    Learn about the four food superpowers -- China, India, the United States and Brazil -- and what sets them apart from the rest of the world.
  9. Investing

    The Quinoa Quandary for Bolivian Farmers

    Growing global demand for quinoa has impacted Bolivian farmers' way of life. Should the American consumer be wary of buying this product?
  10. Investing Basics

    Why You Should Invest Like a Pig Farmer

    Want to increase your long term returns? Consider buying stocks like a farmer, not like a trader.
  1. What countries are driving most of the growth of the food and beverage sector?

    The countries driving most of the growth of the food and beverage sector are the primary emerging market economies of China ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the point of agricultural subsidies?

    Every five years, new legislation is introduced and passed through the U.S. Congress to subsidize farmers and agricultural ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are tradable commodities?

    Tradable commodities consist of basic goods used in commerce that are often interchangeable with other goods of the same ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What country produces the most coffee?

    According to the 2014-2015 forecast provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service, Brazil ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What percentage of the global economy is comprised of the forest products sector?

    The forest products sector is comprised of companies that plant, grow, harvest, and process wood and wood-related products ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does scarcity affect global agriculture stocks?

    Agricultural products are a commodity and their prices are related to other commodities, particularly crude oil. Crops including ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  2. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  3. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  4. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  5. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  6. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
Trading Center