The Role of Nutrition in Promoting Healthier Crops
Well-balanced nutrition plays a key role in crop growth and development. There are many micronutrients essential for plant growth including boron, calcium, copper, manganese and zinc. However, deficiencies, biotic and abiotic factors can inhibit a crop’s ability to take in the nutrients it needs.
For example, high pH soils, high organic matter soils or light textured and sandy soils are all prone to zinc deficiency. Crops growing in zinc deficient soils may exhibit stunted growth and small or misshapen leaves. To help supplement zinc deficiency and promote robust crops, I recommend OMEX’s Zintake, a foliar fertilizer with high concentrations of phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Zintake can be especially beneficial for use late in the season on durum wheat and flax, both of which are prone to accumulate cadmium if zinc is deficient in the soil.
The wet and cold conditions that are common across Western Canada during the early season can also make zinc less available to plants. When next season gets underway, consider a soil test in The First 30 Days to check for zinc deficiency, and use Zintake at the three to five leaf stage and with herbicide treatments or with the fungicide at early flowering.
Herbicide treatments are another factor that can interfere with nutrient uptake. For instance, pulse, oilseed and cereal crops have high manganese requirements. SuperMn+ was specifically developed to promote rapid manganese uptake during periods of shortage.
SuperMn+ is recommended for use when your crop is facing leaf and root diseases, to help offset the impact and help the crop recover more quickly. Proper manganese levels have also been observed to trigger secondary root formation where there is a poor root system as a result of disease or other factors.
Crops that develop copper deficiency are prone to lodge and become susceptible to ergot, a fungus that can infect many cereals and grasses like rye, wheat and barley. To prevent or correct copper deficiency, I recommend Foliar Advance Cu, a foliar copper for in-crop spray.
To learn more about how high-performance plant nutrition can help produce healthier crops by correcting deficiencies and improving the crop’s ability to cope with stress, talk to your OMEX plant health professional today.