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Nutrient interaction in sugarcane

Interaction of nutrients

Micronutrients or trace elements are required in small quantities, yet play pivotal role in plant growth. These invariably have synergistic or antagonistic effects with other nutrients.

  • Silicon: Paddy and sugarcane are highly siliciferous plants. Roles of Si include rise in pH, improved P nutrition and water relation.
  • Sulphur: Sulphur is associated with chlorosis formation.
  • Fe-Mn interaction: Iron deficiency can not be seen in isolation since it mostly interacts with Mn. In a normal cane Fe: Mn ratio is 15: 1 or greater, whilst Fe deficiency/ Mn toxicity is associated with a ration of 1: 1 or even less. Iron deficient plant has an accumulation of Fe in the nodal region. In general Fe deficiency can be ameliorated by soil/foliar application of 25-30 kg/2 kg FeSO4. Interveinal  chlorosis is a distinct symptom of Mn deficiency in sugarcane.

  • Liming induces Zn deficiency and solubility decreases as pH increases.
  • Antagonism of Zn and P is well documented.
  • Besides P, high concentration of Fe, Mn and especially Cu causes severe Zn deficiency. This can, however, be overcome by soil application (20-25 kg ZnSO4 ha-1) or foliar spray (1-2% ZnSO4). Foliar spray is superior to soil application.

Other micronutrients- Mo, Co, Cu, B

            The primary role of B is the transport of sugars across cell membranes as sugar-borate complexes. Boron deficiency resulted in marked reduction of sucrose in cane stalks.

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