Diagnosing Micronutrient Deficiencies

Diagnosing micronutrient deficiencies (i.e., identifying when applications of micronutrients are likely to be beneficial) is more complicated than diagnosing macronutrient deficiencies but there are well developed strategies for diagnosing micronutrient deficiencies.

Here is a link to a presentation by Joel Gruver from the School of Agriculture at Western Illinois University that provides an overview of micro and secondary nutrient management. http://www.slideshare.net/jbgruver/undermanaged-nutrients One important take home message is that soil testing for micronutrients has limited value by itself but can be a useful part of a multifaceted approach. Another is that on-farm experimentation (check strips w/ and w/o 1 or more methods of micronutrient application) is a useful diagnostic approach especially when other indicators suggest likelihood of deficiency.

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