There are certain essential elements and nutrients called Mix Micronutrients that are very important for the proper growth and functioning of a variety of plants. They are much more potent than many other nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and thus are needed in relatively lesser quantities. The main types of micronutrients are Boron(B), Copper(Cu),Iron(Fe), Manganese(Mn),molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), and chloride (Cl).
Boron:- It is an essential micronutrient that helps greatly in the cell wall formation and promotes the proper growth of a variety of plants. Further, it helps in transport of sugar, flower retention and proper pollen formation so as to regulate germination. The deficiency of Boron has many adverse effects on the plant, that usually first appear at the growing points of the plants. This leads to stunted appearance,poor pollination, hollow stems and discolored leaves. The deficiency of Boron is generally found in areas with sandy soil and areas with high rainfall and in soil with low organic matter content. This deficiency is more profound in areas with drought problems as the growth of the root is restricted.
Copper:- Copper is one of the most essential nutrients for the proper growth and development of plants. Copper breaks down carbohydrates and nitrogen in plants to provide them with much needed energy and aid in the growth. Copper also enables the process of synthesis which helps in the formation of the cell wall and to avoid decay or wilting. Some of the signs of copper deficiency are the witing of stems and twigs, yellowing of the leaves, lack of growth and easily withering of leaves. Copper deficiencies are mostly experienced in areas with sandy or organic soil. The uptake of copper by the soil leads to a decrease in the acidic level in soil thus promoting the proper growth and spreading of plant roots.
Iron:- Iron is one of the most important nutrients in the proper functioning of plants as it is actively involved in the production of chlorophyll. Iron also helps in the proper production of necessary enzymes that help in the transfer of energy, nitrogen fixation and proper cell wall formation. Iron deficiency leads to low levels of chlorophyll in plants, thus resulting in yellow leaves . The problem of deficiency of iron is usually found in soils that have a high acidic level , soils with low organic matter content and sandy areas . If the soil is too tight and loosely aerated, it is more likely to experienced the effects of iron deficiency. The more the Ph level of the soil, the lesser the uptake of iron by the soil. The uptake of iron is also affected by high levels of phosphorus, manganese and zinc in the soil.
Manganese:- Manganese is one of the most important nutrients that are required in nitrogen processing, photosynthesis, and the formation of other compounds that is essential for the growth and devlopment of the plant. The extreme deficiency of manganese in plants can lead can result in brown spots on the leaves and in premature dropping. Deficiency of manganese in plants lead to stunted growth and delayed maturity in plants. This problem is generally found in soil with high acidic content,sandy soil that is low in organic matter and in soil with an excess of lime.
Molybdenum:- This is involved in the production and secretion of enzymes that are essential in the fixation of nitrogen, protein synthesis, etc. This has a major effect on pollen formation, that is why the deficiency of molybdenum in plants lead to fruit and grain formation in plants. Unlike the deficiencies of other micronutrients, this is not only restricted to the youngest leaves of the plant. The deficiency of this in many vegetable plants lead to irregular formation of the leaves called whiptail. Apart from this one of the major symptoms is interveinal mottling and the chlorosis of older leaves and plant parts. The problems of this deficiency in usually faced in areas where the soil is more acidic , sandy soils or areas with humid weather conditions. Some of the ways to fight off this deficiency is to lace the soil with lime or go for a more effective seed treatment method.
Zinc:- Zinc is one of the most important factors in many enzyme systems that help in energy production, protein synthesis and proper growth regulation. The deficiency of zinc in plants lead to stunted growth and delayed maturity. The most prevalent symptoms of zinc deficiency in plants can be seen in short internodes and a visible decrease in leaf size. Formation of chlorotic bands along the middle of corn leaves, mottled leaves of dry beans and the chlorosis of rice are typical symptoms of zinc deficiency in plants. Loss of the lower balls of cotton plants and the yellowing of leaves in citrus plants have also been identified as the symptoms of zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency is mainly experienced in plants found in sandy soils with low organic matter content. These are mostly experienced in areas with a wet humid weather condition. Zinc uptake by plants decreases with increased soil pH. Uptake of zinc also is adversely affected by high levels of available phosphorus and iron in soils.
Chloride:- It is mostly related to the salt related functions and electrical charge balance in physiological functions in plants. Chloride is related to the regulation of stomata in plants and the regulation of water loss. Wilting and restricted, highly branched root systems are the main chloride-deficiency symptoms, which are found mainly in cereal crops. Most soils contain sufficient levels of chloride for adequate plant nutrition. However, reported chloride deficiencies have been reported on sandy soils in high rainfall areas or those derived from low-chloride parent materials. There are few areas of chloride-deficient soils in the U. S., so this micronutrient generally is not considered in fertilizer programs. In addition, chloride is applied to soils with KCl, the dominant potassium fertilizer. The role of chloride in decreasing the incidence of various diseases in small grains is perhaps more important than its nutritional role from a practical viewpoint. Plants differ in their requirements for certain micronutrients. The following table shows the estimate of the relative response of selected crops to micronutrients. The ratings of low medium and high are used to indicate the relative degree of responsiveness.
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