Unlock the secrets to boosting cotton yield with our guide on optimal fertilizer use for healthy growth and bountiful harvests.
If you are a farmer or a gardener, you are most likely looking for ways to keep your plants green. There are various micronutrients and nutrients to achieve such results. Zinc is one of the micronutrients vital for plant growth, and it is widely present in the soil. However, for better results, you can supply it through fertilizers.
Despite its small requirement, zinc is indispensable for various physiological processes in plants. To know all the nitty gritty of why zinc is important, let’s try to understand its role in plant growth.
Zinc is a micronutrient responsible for maintaining a healthy root system. It activates enzymes that are responsible for synthesizing nucleic acids (DNA & RNA). These are then responsible for energy production in the plant and to maintain overall metabolism.
Zinc plays an important role in many fundamental plant functions responsible for adequate growth. It majorly helps with internal leaf elongation and growth hormone production.
Without zinc, you are very likely to see:
Although soil is rich in zinc, some factors can lead to zinc depletion, and they are:
Zinc-abundant soil can stimulate plant growth in the following ways:
Plants require zinc in smaller amounts than other macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It aids in the activation of various enzymes involved in photosynthesis, respiration, and other processes. These enzymes, in turn, are in charge of energy production and general plant growth.
Zinc is also responsible for regulating plant hormones, such as auxins, that help in root development and branching. If you wish to maintain a healthy root system, you need to have a perfect hormonal balance.
If you do not have sufficient zinc, your plant might struggle to absorb nutrients like iron and manganese. Now, this can affect the overall growth, and that is why zinc is important because it can help the plant to uptake other essential nutrients.
Zinc helps in the development of flowers, pollens, and seeds in the plants. Simply put, it is good for the reproductive phase of the plant’s life cycle as it ensures that there is successful pollination.
For a plant to withstand various environmental stresses, zinc is important. It can help the plant to fight through drought, high salinity, and extreme temperatures. Zinc also assists the plant in synthesizing antioxidants to protect plant cells from stress damage.
Although zinc is a micronutrient, its deficiency can have a huge impact on plants. Here is how you can identify the deficiency.
Overall, zinc deficiency can make plants vulnerable and susceptible to various diseases and pest attacks.
Here are some of the most common methods used to apply zinc to plants:
You can directly add the zinc fertilizer to the soil during the plantation phase. Zinc sulfate is a common form of zinc fertilizer for this type of application. You can either add it in as granules or in the soluble form. Whatever you decide, you must spread it evenly over the soil surface. Other than that, you can also add zinc oxide, zinc chelates, zinc organic fertilizers, etc.
There are foliar sprays of zinc fertilizers that you can directly apply to the plant’s leaves. Now, this method is useful when your plants are facing the consequences of severe zinc deficiency. Zinc chelates or soluble zinc sulfate are used in foliar sprays for the leaves to absorb it through their surface and then transport it to other parts.
For better absorption, foliar is done early in the morning or late in the evening when the stomata are open. Do not use this method during hot or sunny conditions because that can lead to leaf burn.
You can use this method to ensure young seedlings receive an adequate supply of zinc right from the beginning. Coat the seeds with a zinc-containing product and establish a strong root system beforehand.
If you have a big farm, then the drip irrigation method is the most suitable for you. With this method, you can have control over the amount of zinc delivered to the root zone of the plants. However, it is important to make sure that zinc is compatible with your irrigation system.
After applying zinc to the plant root zone, you are responsible for regular monitoring and making adjustments to the zinc application rate. This can help you prevent over- or under-application.
Zinc is a recommended micronutrient in fertilizer programs for production of corn, sweet corn, and edible beans. Several research projects have focused on the use of this nutrient, and much of the following information is based on the results of that research.
Zinc is a micronutrient found in water-soluble fertilizers. It plays a big role in plant growth, and that is why it is important to identify its deficiency in the starting days of the plantation. It is important to note that it is involved in various physiological processes, from hormone regulation to nutrient uptake. That is why you have to pay close attention to the symptoms of zinc deficiency to ensure optimal plant health. Now, this will benefit you in agricultural practices because proper zinc nutrient management is crucial for maximum crop yield.
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