Know Your Nutrients: Iron
It’s a micronutrient needed only in small amounts, but iron (Fe) plays a critical role in photosynthesis, helping to keep crops green, healthy and thriving.
Iron is involved in chlorophyll development and plays a role in energy transfer, metabolism and respiration. It is also important for the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and can increase nitrogen fixation and use.
Field peas, beans, cereals, and fruit crops can be sensitive to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency chlorosis (aka IDC) is very common in beans grown on calcareous soils. A severe deficiency can result in crop loss; however, plants can usually recover from low to moderate iron deficiency if it is spotted and treated early in the season.
Iron deficiency can cause stunted growth as well as reduced yield. Watch for interveinal chlorosis – a yellowing of leaves with dark green veins – typically appearing a few weeks after emergence. Symptoms will typically present in irregularly shaped areas of the field.
Iron deficiency can occur in high pH soils, poorly aerated and/or drained soils, soils with high levels of metallic ions, soils with high levels of copper, and soils after heavy liming. Iron uptake can also be blocked by too much phosphorus due to heavy manuring.
Chlorosis caused by Iron deficiency limits the process of photosynthesis – by correcting this condition, photosynthesis is restored, and yield can be preserved.
OMEX has developed FeRRoGREEN to correct chlorosis in a wide variety of field crops, vegetables and fruit trees. It is a liquid fertilizer formulated with 3% iron in EDDHA form to encourage green, healthy leaves. It is most effective when applied during the vegetative growth stage and is compatible with commonly used pesticides and fertilizers.
As well, most of OMEX’s liquid foliar fertilizers contain iron, and it is also available in a single element formulation – Omex Fe. Omex Fe may be applied in-crop on its own, or along with pesticides or other fertilizers, or as a soil application to prevent and correct iron deficiencies in crops.
Talk to your retailer or OMEX sales representative for more information on a plant nutrition program, tailored to your crop’s unique requirements.
In our next post: Chloride – a micronutrient that helps control water balance in plants.