Manganese is an essential nutrient that, while needed in small quantities, can be as critical as macronutrients and plays a role in many processes within a plant.
What Roles Does Manganese Play in Crop Production?
Manganese is needed by crops throughout the growing seeing for essential functions in the plant like photosynthesis. Manganese acts as an activator for enzymes in growth processes and supports the conversion of nitrate (a form of nitrogen) that can be readily utilized by the crop. In addition, manganese assists iron in chlorophyll formation.
Risk Factors That Can Lead to Manganese Deficiency
Manganese is generally present in the soil but can be tied up or fixed in the soil in an unavailable form for plant uptake. The conditions below can lead to or be contributing factors to a manganese deficiency.
- Soil Texture: Coarse, sandy soils are more prone to deficiencies due to the susceptibility of manganese being leached beyond the root zone.
- Organic Matter: High organic matter soils can cause reduced availability of manganese due to the interaction between manganese and organic compounds.
- Soil pH: Soils that have a pH above 6 and are heavily weathered are going to experience higher deficiencies of manganese.
- Soil Temperature: Cool, wet conditions can contribute to lack of available manganese for crops.
- Non-Uniform Symptoms in the Field: Manganese deficiencies are commonly found in low spots in a field with mucky conditions.
Manganese is immobile in the plant and deficiency symptoms tend to develop in younger leaves first.
How to Spot a Manganese Deficiency
Manganese deficiency is a widespread issue in crop production and is sometimes confused with nitrogen deficiencies. This makes it even more critical to recognize the deficiency symptoms, so we don’t underestimate the impact manganese deficiency can have on a crop and its yield potential. These symptoms can include:
- Interveinal chlorosis of young leaves
- When compared to nitrogen deficiencies, manganese appears in young leaves whereas nitrogen deficiencies appear in older leaves
- Yellow-ish stripes in upper leaves
- Development of gray specks (oats), interveinal white streaks (wheat) or interveinal brown streaks and spots (barley)
- For soybeans, leaves become pale green first then pale yellow. As the deficiency becomes more severe, brown, dead areas appear.
Get the Help Needed to Prevent a Manganese Deficiency
Get ahead of a manganese deficiency with a solution such as WOLF TRAX®
(Dry Dispersible Powder) micronutrients. WOLF TRAX Manganese DDP is designed to have nutrients more accessible to plants when they need it most. This solution helps improve micronutrient use efficiency and promote crop performance.
To learn more about manganese and how to prevent manganese deficiencies, contact a Koch Agronomic Services (KAS) representative
today or visit the KAS Knowledge Center for additional resources.