A Little Goes a Long Way

Larry Oldham, Extension Soils Specialist
By Larry Oldham, Extension Soils Specialist December 21, 2020 08:24

A Little Goes a Long Way

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Plants require very small amounts of some of the essential elements; these micronutrients are necessary for plant growth, development, and reproduction. Most Mississippi soils provide enough micronutrients for crop production. However, boron, zinc, molybdenum, iron, and manganese may present issues.

Copper, chlorine, and nickel also are needed by plants, but, to date, have rarely posed plant nutrition problems in the state. Incidentally, nickel is relatively new to the essentials, and likely the nutrient with the least quantity required by plants.

Micronutrient availability is greatly influenced by soil pH. Micronutrient availability issues are minimal when pH is 6 to 6.5. When the extremes are approached, such as in the chalk based soils of the Mississippi Blackland Prairie region, things get ‘interesting’.

See MSU Extension Info Sheet 1038 for more details about micronutrient functions and recommendations. It also has more information about the relationship of soil acidity and the plant availability of these nutrients.

 

 

 

 

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Larry Oldham, Extension Soils Specialist
By Larry Oldham, Extension Soils Specialist December 21, 2020 08:24
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