However, when that crop becomes stunted, yellowed or damaged by a deficiency, it can impact yield and overall investment—threatening the very thing hard work has brought to life. Iron, although only needed in small amounts, is critical to growing a healthy and optimized crop. Without it, your investment can become compromised.
Iron is an essential nutrient to crop production as it plays a vital role in crop growth, enzyme function and transporting oxygen throughout the roots, leaves and other parts of the crop. Without enough iron, crops will not receive the oxygen they need and without this oxygen, sufficient chlorophyll is not produced. As chlorophyll is the key factor in the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis, insufficient amounts are detrimental to a crop’s overall health and growth—making deficiency prevention vital to your operation.
Most soils have high levels of iron, however, most of that iron is not in a plant-available form. Thus, the plant cannot take the iron up and is at risk for deficiency. Other factors that can increase your risk of iron deficiency and impairment of your crop’s potential are:
• Soil pH: Soils with a high pH can decrease iron solubility, or iron available for plant uptake.
• Soil Texture: Sandy or coarse soils increase the risk of leaching, causing a decrease in iron available.
• Environment: Conditions that are cold or wet are at higher risk of an iron deficiency.
• Soil Conditions: Iron deficiencies are typically seen in calcareous soils or areas where heavy amounts of lime have been applied.
Identifying an Iron Deficiency
While an iron deficiency can seem to mimic other nutrient deficiency symptoms, here are some signs that can help you identify your crop’s need for iron supplementation:
• Interveinal chlorosis with distinctive yellow-green stripes on new or young leaves.
• In severe deficiency cases, leaves may become necrotic with the edges showing first.
• Stunted plant growth with thin spindly stems.
• Reduced root growth.
How to Help Prevent an Iron Deficiency
Don’t let a preventable deficiency be your yield limiting factor. Give your crops the right rate of iron at the right time and in the right place to maximize crop potential with WOLF TRAX® Dry Dispersible Powder® (DDP) micronutrients. WOLF TRAX can give you peace of mind knowing your crops are receiving the micronutrients needed in closer proximity to growing roots. With a uniform distribution across your field, WOLF TRAX provides your crops with a balanced nutrition plan to maximize your yield and decrease your risk of visible and hidden deficiencies.
To learn more about iron and how you can prevent iron deficiency, contact a Koch Agronomic Services (KAS) representative or visit the KAS Knowledge Center.