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Nutrient Excess
and Deficiency
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Fertilizer Efficiency
Nutrient Relationships
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Nutrient Excess/Deficiency
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B

Boron Excess

  • Toxicity.
  • Promotes disease and enzyme problems.

    Boron Deficiency

  • Reduces growth of soil bacteria.
  • Poor movement of sugar and carbohydrates in the plant.
  • Affects timing of maturity, pollination, and reproduction.
  • Can be caused by excess nitrogen with low phosphorus.
  • High applications of potassium can affect uptake when boron is low.
  • Excess calcium or calcium uptake, drought, or excess potassium can
        cause problems (boron at high level is very important on sandy-textured
        soils where potassium levels are over 5% base saturation).
  • Ca

    Calcium Excess

  • Increases the need for phosphorus and zinc.
  • Decreases the availability of nitrogen, phosphorus, iron,
        manganese, zinc, and potassium.
  • Hampers the build up of potassium.
  • Increases calcium content of food and feed grains.

    Calcium Deficiency

  • Hinders early root formation and growth.
  • Plants lack vigor and stiffness.
  • Plants show diseased and dead tissue.
  • Slows down the improvement of soil texture and crumb texture of heavy clay soils.
  • Promotes the toxicity of certain soil constituents such as aluminum
        and manganese.
  • Increases the need for other nutrients.
  • Makes some micronutrients available in excess.
  • Slows down the growth of both symbiotic and non-symbiotic types
        of nitrogen fixing bacteria.
  • Poor roots and stems.
  • Cu

    Copper Excess

  • Toxic possibilities.
  • Poor utilization of nitrogen.
  • Can be caused by excess of molybdenum and cobalt (controlling agents).
  • Causes ammonia not to convert.

    Copper Deficiency

  • Chlorosis due to resulting inability of uptake of iron.
  • Depressed growth.
  • Poor pollination and reproduction.
  • Can cause light green color.
  • Can be caused by excess phosphorus, which can reduce uptake,
        and can be caused by heavy applications of nitrogen.
  • Fe

    Iron Excess

  • Interferes with phosphorus absorption.
  • Requires use of higher levels of potassium to regulate.
  • Can cause Zinc deficiency.

    Iron Deficiency

  • Plant lacks vigor, has poor transpiration energy and poor resistance to disease.
  • Causes stunting and uneven field growth in wet or poorly drained soils.
  • Chlorosis.
  • Can be caused by excesses of phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • Mg

    Magnesium Excess

  • Increases the need for phosphorus.
  • Prevents crops from drying down timely and reaching nutritional maturity.
  • Permits organic residue to decay into alcohol, a sterilant to bacteria.
  • Cements clay soils tightly together which compacts and crusts easily,
        preventing air retention, in-soak of water, and recovery of capillary
        water during periods of dry weather.
  • With low calcium, can prevent decay of organic crop residue into humus.

    Magnesium Deficiency

  • Adversely affects the process of photosynthesis.
  • Hampers metabolism, absorption, and deposition of Phosphorus.
  • Inhibits movement of carbohydrates from leaves to stem.
  • Increases potential for leaching.
  • Can be caused by high potassium levels.
  • Mn

    Manganese Excess

  • Increases need for iron and zinc.
  • Caused by adding high applications of nitrogen and phosphorus.

    Manganese Deficiency

  • Adversely affects metabolism, absorption and utilization
        of plant food, especially carbohydrates.
  • Adversely affects pollination and reproduction.
  • Can be caused by excess calcium and phosphorus.
  • Hampers photosynthesis.
  • Activates the enzyme which controls the distribution of
        growth regulators produced by auxins (plant hormones).
  • Can be caused by high levels of field moisture or poor drainage.
  • Leaf spotting and yellowing.
  • N

    Nitrogen Excess

  • Increases the need for hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
  • Promotes lodging and poor quality grain.
  • Delays maturity.
  • Reduces sugar content in the plant.
  • Potential nitrate poisoning in livestock.
  • Tender lush growth promotes disease and insects.
  • Negatively affects assimilation of hydrogen, sulfur, calcium, magnesium,
        zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, molybdenum, and carbon.

    Nitrogen Deficiency

  • Decreases growth, yield, and quality of grain.
  • Nitrogen is very mobile so older leaves or parts of the plant show stress signs.
  • P

    Phosphorus Excess

  • Causes crop to mature too rapidly.
  • Increases the need for iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Reduces zinc, copper, and iron availability.
  • Reduces uptake of manganese, zinc, copper, and molybdenum.

    Phosphorus Deficiency

  • Slows and reduces growth and growth hormone production.
  • Phosphorus is non-mobile so deficiencies appear in younger parts of the plant.
  • Phosphorus plays important role in controlling osmotic pressure.
  • Decreases resistance to invasion by pathogenic microorganisms and disease.
  • Affects enzyme system including vitamin D, nucleic acid, and every cell
        since they are rich in phosphorus.
  • Can be created by excesses of iron, aluminum, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Adversely affects reproductive process and pollination activities of the plant.
  • K

    Potassium Excess

  • Causes high osmotic pressure in soils.
  • Slows bacterial growth and multiplication.
  • Causes poor fertilizer efficiency.
  • Reduces uptake of calcium, magnesium, and boron.
  • Causes leafy and stalk vegetables to be tough and stringy.
  • Causes alkaline soils unless excessive chlorine is present.

    Potassium Deficiency

  • Keeps other nutrients from moving to the growing points.
  • Decreases formation of the carbohydrates.
  • Slows growth, reduces vigor, and affects reproduction activity
        at time of pollination.
  • Can be caused by excess applications of nitrogen.
  • Reduces frost protection of plants.
  • Promotes lodging by reducing stalk and straw strength.
  • Potassium is mobile so older leaves or parts of the plant show signs of stress.
  • Na

    Sodium Excess

  • Raises osmotic pressure to excess, causing dehydration.
  • Slows down bacterial growth.
  • Reduces uptake of manganese, potassium, and nitrogen.
  • Compacts crusted soils with poor crumb structure and capacity for holding water.
  • S

    Sulfur Excess

  • Poor utilization of nitrogen.
  • Affects magnesium, sodium, molybdenum, calcium, and copper assimilation.
  • Affects management of calcium and magnesium.
  • Causes changes in pH by increasing acid or hydrogen in soil.

    Sulfur Deficiency

  • Affects amino acids methionine and cystine in protein.
  • Increases disease potential.
  • Can be caused by excess nitrogen on low organic matter soils.
  • Has similar appearance to nitrogen deficiency.
  • Zn

    Zinc Excess

  • Decreases copper availability.
  • Increases need for manganese.
  • Interferes with utilization of copper, iron, and calcium.

    Zinc Deficiency

  • Can be caused by excess calcium.
  • Poor growth and vigor.
  • Lowers disease resistance.
  • Causes stunting and lack of growth in terminal locations.
  • Adversely affects metabolism.
  • Adversely affects pollination and reproduction.


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