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Zinc deficiency is widespread in plant nutrition and also in human nutrition. Zinc deficient plants show reduced growth, mainly at the beginning of vegetation and in cold and humid conditions. It is possible to intervene properly by targeting sensitive crops and soils with the correct form of zinc fertilizer.
Like other trace elements, zinc is involved in enzymatic reactions related to carbon fixation (photosynthesis). It is also involved in cell multiplication and in ribosomes, and more specifically in growth mechanisms linked to the auxin hormone.
At the first growth stages zinc is absorbed passively in proportion to its concentration in the soil solution, at later stages crops control the absorption with metabolic functions.
INTERACTIONS AND SPECIAL FEATURES
Zinc blocks iron but this is not the case the other way around. Excess phosphorus can block zinc, and this is also occurs in the other direction. Excess zinc is not common in agricultural soils except when sewage sludge or industrial compost is used excessively. In this case, iron and phosphorus are less available.
Zinc contents in soils vary greatly according to the type of soil. Limestone soils are the poorest as well as soils developed from granite. Zinc in the form of sulphites or carbonates passes quite easily into the soil. It has been mined since the Middle Ages and its industrial production continues to grow.
Sensibility table & Symptomes
Zinc deficiency is one of the most common trace element deficiencies and has a high impact on yield. In general, the most distinct symptoms are signs of chlorosis between the veins
Excess & Needs
Excess zinc can be found in the plants blocking the uptake of phosphorus, iron, manganese or copper, often causing deficiencies in the tissue of plant.
Application of zinc through fertilization can be done in the form of foliar as well as soil application. Sulphate salts work well when the plant can take them up immediately. Chelates are more stable and less susceptible to be transformed into unavailable forms. Ourfertilizer formulations support effective assimilation by crops whilst having also a sustained effect, by maintaining the soil supply throughout the growth period. The application is recommended to be done at the beginning of the growth phase, when the passive absorption is dominating. This is particularly true for flax.
EDTA extraction is a good indicator for measuring zinc in soils. The following can be considered as minimum thresholds: - In basic soil, the minimum content is 5ppm. - In neutral soil, the minimum content is 4ppm. - In acidic soil, the minimum content is 3ppm.
Low temperatures tend to diminish the solubility of zinc in the soil solution, especially at the end of winter on young crops. The luminosity also affects the availability of zinc, whereas low light influence (cloudy and grey) combined with low temperatures greatly increase the availability of zinc.
Zinc content decreases at high pH (alkaline soil) or after pH elevation (recent liming).