Plant Nutrient Deficiency

Is your crop suffering from nutrient deficiency? Inadequate levels of any of these essential plant nutrients can have major effects on crop growth, health and yield. Click on the links below to find out more about the importance of each of key nutrient and how to identify the causes of symptoms of deficiency.

Zinc nutrient deficiency in plants

zinc deficiency in citrus

Zinc deficiency in citrus. Source: APS Digital Image Collections.

Form

Taken up as ionic Zn2+, Zinc is essential for major hormone production.

Function

Zinc is involved in the formation and activation of hormones that regulate root development, water uptake, flowering and fruit set. In addition, Zinc plays a major role in the structure and function of the integumentary system, affecting skin elasticity, wound healing and disease suppression.

Symptoms

Zinc nutrient deficiency affects the development of new tissue, restricting leaf expansion and root development. Young leaves display a white bleached centre section, flowers and pollen degrade quickly and the movement of water soluble nutrition is restricted.

chlorosis in interveinal areas in soybean leaf, caused by zinc deficiency

Chlorosis in interveinal areas in soybean leaf, caused by zinc deficiency. Source: APS Digital Image Collections.

Significance

Zinc stress reduces root development, nutrient recovery and water uptake. When combined with poor flowering response, Zinc stress leads to low seed or fruit set and slow accumulation of carbohydrate. Zinc nutrient deficiency is often associated high Phosphorous levels, increased drought stress, disease pressure and is worse on alkaline soils and in cold, wet growing conditions.

Actions

Check soil status and root development for compaction. Routine foliar fertilizer treatment can be very effective, especially during the early stages of plant development and times of stress.

 

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