Well spring is here and it's all action stations for many horticulturalists. The key question is, are you applying any zinc sprays this season? Doesn't matter what you grow or where you are in Australia, zinc is our most limiting trace element & it needs to be applied early in the season. Zinc is a very important nutrient for shoot growth and fruit quality because of its role in auxin (a growth hormone) production. Low auxin levels during the flowering or reproductive phase often result in poor or uneven fruit set (eg. 'hen & chicken' in grapevines). Zinc deficiency is also known as "little leaf disease" as it drastically reduces leaf expansion (see almond leaves below) again due to low auxin levels.
Why foliar spray?
Zinc is a very immobile nutrient in the soil and doesn't really move through the profile at all, even on lighter soils. Secondly many soils tie up zinc, particularly high pH (alkaline) soils such as those in the SA Riverland & Victorian Sunraysia/Mallee growing areas. Also as zinc is a micro-nutrient, it is required in small quantities compared to major NPK nutrients, so foliar sprays alone can provide enough available zinc to correct deficiencies, and much more quickly than soil applied zinc. This is not to say that zinc should not be applied to the soil, only that its availability and efficiency are usually much lower than foliar sprays. So even if you apply soil zinc you will probably need to foliar spray as well (note that lighter acidic soils low in organic matter will have better availability than clay and/or alkaline soils). Because zinc doesn't move or translocate within the plant, multiple zinc sprays targeting reproductive stages & new growth may be required.
SJB has several zinc foliar options & combinations to suit any crop or soil type. The main advantages of SJB's zinc range include:
- Fully chelated for fast uptake & maximum plant availability
- Very safe formulation (sulphate, nitrate or chloride forms more likely to cause leaf burn)
- Low cost/ha
- Prolonged correction of major zinc deficiencies
- Excellent chemical and nutrient compatibility
- Binding properties enhance early season absorption when leaf/canopy area is small
- Proven in the field since 1989
Below are some of our most popular chelated zinc foliar products used by growers across Australia.
If looking for a multi trace option, check out LIG-TRACE.
Zinc deficiency ('little leaf') in almonds.