Knowledge article

Manganese deficiency in agriculture

Mangaan tekorten Know why

A high soil pH and/or a high organic matter content (> 2.5%), airy soils and lengthy periods of drought are contributing factors to a manganese deficiency. Crops such as cereals, potatoes, beetroots and beans are generally relatively sensitive to a deficiency of manganese.

A manganese deficiency inhibits the formation of chlorophyll and can therefore first be recognised by pale green or yellow discoloration between the green main veins in the young leaf. In the event of a severe manganese deficiency, the leaf may become necrotic. This reduces the photosynthesis activity, resulting in a lower potential yield. In addition, plants with a manganese deficiency are often more susceptible to frost damage and soil-bound fungal diseases, such as phytophthora.

Function of manganese

Manganese (Mn) is a vital trace element for balanced plant growth. It functions, among other things, as a catalyst in the production of essential enzymes. These play a crucial role in photosynthesis, protein synthesis and cell division. In addition, manganese contributes to the strength of cell walls (lignin synthesis) and root growth. Manganese is absorbed by the plant in the form of manganese ions (Mn2). Similar to many other trace elements, manganese is an immobile element in the plant, deficiencies will first manifest in young parts of the plant.

Correction using manganese foliar fertilisers

If a manganese deficiency is noticed during the growing season, we advise a treatment using a foliar fertiliser that contains manganese. This is considered to be the most effective measure when there is insufficient availability of manganese in the soil.

Optima Leaf-Mn from Soiltech is a highly effective foliar fertiliser based on organically complexed manganese with a balanced nutrient base. Various (field) trials by both independent parties and Soiltech's own R&D team demonstrate the efficacy of this manganese fertiliser. The product ensures efficient uptake and translocation of minerals. The advantage of Optima Leaf-Mn from Soiltech is that it is easy to use, both standalone and in combination with other products. Trials on radish (Norham RZ) using Optima Leaf-Mn also show that a much higher manganese content in the plant can be achieved using a lower dosage compared with manganese carbonate.

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