Know Your Nutrients: Sulfur

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Sulfur (S) is a secondary nutrient, but it can be just as important as the primary (macro) nutrients. In fact, a plant’s sulfur requirements are similar to its needs for phosphorus, which is why some people call it “the fourth macronutrient.”

Sulfur is essential for plant growth, aiding in enzyme and vitamin activities, chlorophyll formation and nitrogen stabilization. It is an integral part of several amino acids which are essential for protein production and is necessary for nodule formation in legumes. 

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Know Your Nutrients: Calcium

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Required by all plants to grow and thrive, calcium (Ca) plays a big part in plant development and fruit quality. Although it’s considered a secondary nutrient, a plant’s need for calcium can be as high as its needs for nitrogen and potassium

Calcium is essential for the proper functioning of growing points, particularly root tips and nodules. It aids in cell division, forms compounds which strengthen cell walls, supports the function of cell membranes, and helps control enzyme activity and the metabolism of starch.

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Know Your Nutrients: Zinc

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Although zinc (Zn) is required in much smaller amounts than some of the other micronutrients, it can make a big difference in both crop yield, health and quality. Pay attention to zinc – high yields cannot be achieved without it!

Zinc is a key driver of germination and root development and is required for growth hormone production and homeostasis, as well as synthesis of nucleic acids and enzyme activity. It aids in the formation of chlorophyll, affects the uptake and use of water, and influences the rate of seed and stalk maturation. 

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Know Your Nutrients: Manganese

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Manganese (Mn), a.k.a. “the activator,” is one of the nine micronutrients essential for growing a healthy crop. It is responsible for activating over 35 vital enzymes in the plant and plays an important role in regulating carbohydrate metabolism.

Manganese is a key driver of photosynthesis, acting as a catalyst for water-splitting – dividing water into its elemental parts. Manganese can also contribute to the overall health of the crop by increasing its resistance to biotic stress, such as disease, and helping it tolerate abiotic stresses, especially periods of heat and drought. 

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