2013-10-16   facebook twitter rss

HGCA Helps Industry Diagnose Need For Micronutrients

Growers are now in a better position to assess the need for micronutrient applications in cereals and oilseed rape, thanks to a new HGCA publication.

The publication is based on recently completed HGCA trials work, led by Rothamsted Research, and an extensive literature review on micronutrients, led by ADAS.

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James Holmes, Research and Knowledge Transfer Manager at HGCA, said: “Micronutrients, such as boron, copper, manganese, molybdenum and zinc, are essential trace elements and are often applied to insure against potential yield loss.

“As they are only required in relatively small amounts and can be supplied in adequate amounts by the soil, there is increasing interest in diagnosing when it is beneficial to add micronutrients to spray tanks. However, HGCA trials have shown that deficiencies can be difficult to diagnose.

“A key recommendation in the new publication is that growers should not rely on visual symptoms, as symptoms are often short-lived and easily confused, and should use both soil and tissue analysis methods to confirm if there is micronutrient deficiency requiring attention.”

Information Sheet 25 provides a concise overview of the use of micronutrients in cereals and oilseed rape crops, with sections on availability in UK soils, visual symptoms, factors affecting deficiencies, and analysis and treatment methods.

“If a micronutrient deficiency is diagnosed, it is important to remember that a fertiliser application may not be the best long-term response as it may be preferable to improve areas of poor soil structure and to look at soil pH to treat the underlying cause,” concluded Mr Holmes.

HGCA hopes that growers and agronomists will use this information, in conjunction with their own experience of local issues, to better target micronutrient applications.


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