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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1993-1995
1 Fluid Journal Fall 1994 FFF Review Effective Zinc Management Effective Zinc Management Effective Zinc Management Effective Zinc Management Effective Zinc Management An infinitesim al a mount of this mighty nutrient goes a long way in helping to product yield gains How important is zinc? Well, it exists in all living things. It is the 24th most available element in the earth's crust. Two ounces per ton of feed can prevent parakeratosis in hogs. Two ounces will promote healthy egg and chick development. Without it, no crop would grow. Zinc is involved in the necessary functions of plant growth. It helps produce auxins, a growth-promoting substance that controls growth of shoots. Zinc also forms enzyme systems, which regulate plant life. For a nutrient so vital to plant growth, its deficiency in most soils is one of the true ironies in U.S. agriculture. Surveys of the fifty states report that as high as 92.3 percent of soil samples taken show medium to serious zinc deficiencies! For a very small cost less than a half bushel of corn per acre---these deficiencies could be corrected and add, as this article will show, substantial bushels per acre. For example, sufficient NPK may be applied to a corn crop to reach 175 bu/ A. But, owing to a neglected zinc deficiency, only 150 bu/A are harvested. The penalties for insufficient zinc in this case are 1) wasted NPK that could have produced that other 25 bushels, 2) higher costs per bushel of corn grown and 3) lower net profit. This is what we call the "law of the minimum." Skimping on this micronutrient will cost you dearly in terms of yields lost and what you ultimately deposit in the bank. Just one quart/A of liquid zinc in a fluid starter applied on corn can avert this "law of the minimum." Crop sensitivity All plants require zinc, but their ability to use available zinc and extract zinc differs (Table 1). It should be noted however that variability is likely to exist within a given species. For example, the Sanilac variety of pea bean is highly susceptible to Zn deficiency whereas the Table 1. Sensitivity of selected crops to zinc deficiency. Very sensitive Mildly sensitive Insensitive Beans, lima and pea Alfalfa Asparagus Castor beans Clovers Carrots Citrus Cotton Forage grasses Corn Potatoes Mustard Flax Sorghum Pea Fruit tree Sudangrass Peppermint Grapes Sugar beets Safflower Hops Small grains Onions Pecans Pine Soybeans Check P205 P205 @ 80 lbs/A @ 80 lbs/A +Zn @ 10 lbs/A 170 150 130 110 90 70 50 Figure 1. Effect of zinc application in eliminating zinc/phosphorus imbalance and improving cor n yield, Kansas State University.
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