Micronutrient Zinc plays a vital role in plants’ growth and development. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how Zn helps, but it is certainly involved in improving the level of protein, chlorophyll, and other enzymes. Thus, the metabolic response crucial for proper growth gets stimulated. Some of the crops like soybeans, corn, sorghum, sugar beets, wheat, edible beans, etc. are prone to struggle with zinc deficiency. They show great response to Zn fertilizer when soil lacks it.
Different Zn fertilizer options
Zinc sulfate is a common inorganic Zn fertilizer. It is available in a granular form. On Bisley, you can buy Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate 35% and the other form is Zinc Heptahydrate 22%.
Ammoniated Zinc blends well with liquid fertilizer formed using ammonium phosphate. Certain kind of Zn ammonia solutions can be combined with aqua ammonia solutions or UAN
Chelated Zn is a liquid product and is an organic zinc source. It can be broadcasted, banded, or foliar applied. The application rates are 1/5th less than the inorganic sources. It is a pricey option.
Which factors influence the choice of Zinc fertilizer option?
- Product solubility
- Soil condition
- Application method and rate
- The sensitivity of crops to zinc deficiency
Research has revealed that low rates of chelated zinc fertilizers are more efficient when broadcasted to deficient soils in comparison to inorganic Zn sources. Alternatively, Zn sulfate is highly soluble in water.
Its production cost is low and can be used in every kind of soil. One application of more than 20 pounds/acre of Zinc Sulfate 35% will last for more than 2 years. During the growing season, farmers can treat zinc deficiency by spraying the solution of Zn sulfate at 20-30 gallons per acre.
Zn fertilizers get absorbed by the roots from the oil. So, the higher the solubility, higher better it is for plant development. Both chelates and sulfates are water-soluble but the former is not susceptible to soil absorption in high pH conditions.
Reasons for zinc deficiency
- High pH soil
- Wet, cold soil causing the roots to grow slowly, which releases Zinc from organic matter slowly
- Low organic matter like eroded or sandy soil
- Crops vulnerable to zinc deficiencies grown in soil with low zinc levels
Understand the soil conditions
Zinc deficiency is present in more than 50% of global crop soils.
- In spring, cool soil temperature can increase the requirement of zinc.
- Spots, where the topsoil is removed or eroded, may need nutrients.
- Finer textured soils like those with high sand tend to show Zn deficiency.
Before you apply Zinc fertilizer periodically have the soil testing performed. An accurate analysis of the farm soil conditions and type of crop to be cultivated, application method, and the product cost will help to identify the appropriate zinc source.
Zinc fertilizers will be used in farming to maintain crop yields for meeting food demand in an environment where the population is on a rise. Zinc sulfate can be combined with agronomic management practices for achieving a synergetic effect to enhance grain zinc. Grain Zn concentration can address both quality and food security as humans are struggling with Zn deficiency.