Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Why is it important to identify micronutrients deficiencies in crops?

Cases of micronutrient deficiencies in soil are on the rise. This has affected the yield.


Plants require 35 primary and micronutrients for proper growth. While nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are called the main or primary nutrients, zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, etc. are called ‘micro nutrients’. Plants require very small amounts of micronutrients. But their importance is no less than the primary nutrients as their deficiency affects plant health adversely.

The health of the soil is determined by a soil test. It is very important to introduce primary and micronutrients in the field as per the recommendations of the test report. But in case of soil testing has not been done and the standing crop shows signs of nutrient deficiency, then micronutrients can be sprayed by mixing it with fine sand in the prescribed quantity. The lack of micronutrients affects the processes of growth, metabolism and reproduction in plants.

According to soil scientists, in recent years, the cases of micronutrient deficiency in soil are increasing continuously. This has affected the yield.

micronutrient deficiencies in crops


Function: It helps in the formation of chlorophyll. It acts as a catalyst in the processes of oxidation and reduction that take place in plants. It plays an important role in the transmission of energy within plants. It also contains certain enzymes and proteins, which control the breathing activity of plants. Iron from plants is added (where?) to form a compound of sulfur.

Symptoms of Deficiency: When leaves start turning yellow untimely,it is due to low levels of chlorophyll. It is the main symptom of iron deficiency. Yellowing of leaves first appears on the upper leaves. Due to iron deficiency, the greenery of new leaves also starts decreasing. This weakens the plants eventually.

Cure: To remove iron deficiency from plants, ferrous sulphate should be applied to the soil at the rate of 20 to 40 kg per hectare or a solution of 0.4 percent ferrous sulphate and 0.2 percent lime should be sprayed.


Function: Copper is a gross micronutrient. It is essential for carbohydrate and androgen metabolism. Copper acts as a control in photosynthesis and respiration. It plays the role of a component in making and modifying proteins of amino acids.

Symptoms of Deficiency: Its deficiency causes symptoms of end rot in young leaves of plants. Decreased growth and non-green color of leaves are the main symptoms. The deficiency of copper causes dyspepsia in the lemon, white end in beet and apple and cracking of bark.

Cure: To overcome copper deficiency, 10 to 20 kg of copper sulphate per hectare should be applied at the time of tillage.


Function: It is the main component of enzymes. It also plays a catalytic role in chlorophyll formation and aids in the digestion of nitrogen.

Deficiency Symptoms: Deficiency of zinc in the soil leads to stunted growth, curling of leaves and reduced stem length. Deficiency of zinc causes a disease called Khaira in paddy. Its deficiency causes rosette problem in mango, lemon and litchi. The leaves of maize plant turn white. It is called white bud. Zinc deficiency can cause delayed flowering and fruiting of plants.

Cure: To remove zinc deficiency in the soil, spray 15 to 30 kg zinc sulphate per hectare or make a solution of 0.5 percent zinc sulphate and 0.2 percent lime and spray it on the leaves.


Function: Manganese has an important role in digesting nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide during photosynthesis or chlorophyll formation. Riboflavin, ascorbic acid, carotene, and manganese are also needed for electron transport during photosynthesis. It also activates fat-forming enzymes.

Deficiency symptoms: Manganese deficiency causes small chlorosis spots on the leaves. Its deficiency causes spotted yellow disease in beetroot and grayspike in oats.

Cure: 10 to 20 kg per hectare of manganese sulphate should be mixed with soil or a spray solution of 0.4 percent manganese sulphate and 0.3 percent lime should be used as a foliar spray.


Functions: The primary role of boron is related to the building of plant cell walls. It helps in the formation of nitrogen-fixing glands in leguminous crops. It controls the water absorption in plants. Boron deficiency impairs sugar transport, flower retention, pollen formation and germination, as well as reduces grain production. Its deficiency is mainly found in acidic, sandy and low organic matter soils in areas with high rainfall.

Deficiency Symptoms: Boron deficiency leads to the thickening of leaves. Plant growth slows down and leaves turn yellow or red. Its deficiency is often associated with infertility and pathologies of the reproductive organs of plants. Deficiency of boron causes internal rot in mango, fruit rot in gooseberry, hen and chicken disorder in grapes, internal rot in beet, brown heart in turnip, radish and carrot, browning in cauliflower, fruit cracking and macular disease in potato leaves.

Cure: To remove boron deficiency, spray 0.2% borax per hectare or boric acid solution in 150 liters of water. Common boron fertilizers are borax (10.5% B) and boric acid (20% B).


Function: Molybdenum is associated with enzymes. Its deficiency can affect the digestion of nitrogen and sulfur and synthesisof protein. Molybdenum has an important role in the formation of fruits and grains. Plants require such a small amount of the nutrient that most varieties do not show symptoms of its deficiency.

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Deficiency Symptoms: Deficiency of molybdenum in some vegetable crops results in irregular leaf blade formation. Its deficiency leads to cyanosis or chlorosis between the veins of the leaves. Its deficiency causes whiptail in cauliflower and yellow spot disease in the leaves of citrus plants.

Cure: To overcome molybdenum deficiency, apply sodium molybdate at 0.2 to 0.6 kg per hectare of land at the time of tillage. Ammonium molybdate and sodium molybdate should be applied in the soil at the rate of 1 to 2.3 kg per hectare and if foliar spraying is required, it can be used by making a solution of 0.01 to 0.035 percent.

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