In Summary

  • Many farmers are missing out on this crucial stage of putting in micronutrients into their crop fertiliser programme.
  • This deficiency symptoms interfere and affects yields since the photochromatic area important for photosynthesis has been affected.
  • It is important not to over apply one micronutrient, as it could have adverse effects on another.
  • Use of basal fertiliser as a way of applying micronutrients is more efficient and saves on costs, and time.

Q: I am a farmer growing five different crops on my seven-acre farm. Unfortunately, my maize has yellowish stripes on the leaves and the tomatoes leaves are curling and turning yellow.

What is the problem?
Kamau, Nyahururu

Success on the farm often comes down to managing the little things, in this case micronutrients.

What you have described above is a case of micronutrient deficiency.

Many farmers are missing out on this crucial stage of putting in micronutrients into their crop fertiliser programme.

It doesn’t cost much, but pays greatly by ensuring high-yield returns.

Micronutrients

These are nutrients essential for crop growth, and play an important role in balanced crop nutrition.

They include Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Molybdenum (Mo), and Chlorine (Cl).

They offer different nutrients to the crop, and their levels of importance varies from crop to crop.

Each crop we grow has one or two micronutrients that show deficiency if lacking.

This deficiency symptoms interfere and affects yields since the photochromatic area important for photosynthesis has been affected.

Zinc deficiency in maize, copper in wheat and boron in tomatoes are common deficiencies. How to address the problem:

Striking the balance

It is important not to over apply one micronutrient, as it could have adverse effects on another.

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