Molybdenum – The Micronutrient You Didn’t Know Your Crops Needed
Is Everything that is bigger better? The more the merrier? Go big or go home? Well, not so much in this instance. Today we’re here to tell you about one small (micro) change you can make that will improve your crop yield. Yes, small, micro and it’s called molybdenum.
What is Molybdenum?
Molybdenum is a micro, but vital, nutrient in plants which is used to produce the enzymes that help obtain and ‘fix’ nitrate in plants. Plants can only assimilate nitrogen in two forms – NO3– and NH4+. Nitrate in its natural occurring form cannot be absorbed by plants and must therefore be reduced to NO3– en NH4+ through molybdenum derived enzymes. The nitrate which is then converted to nitrogen is a necessary building block in amino acids, proteins and chlorophyll.
Plants that have nitrate, or in fact molybdenum deficiency, will show signs of poor growth, yellowing of leaves, plant deformation, underdeveloped buds and flowers and restricted fruit setting.
What causes low levels of Molybdenum?
Plants that require higher levels of molybdenum may deplete soils of this trace element and lead to lower levels of availability. Though often the cause for molybdenum deficiency is acidic soils that decreases its availability, which is the opposite to most other micronutrients that do require more acidic soil.
Molybdenum deficiencies are regularly and wrongly identified as nitrogen deficiencies. This misidentification could cause the overuse of nitrogen fertiliser which will be a waste of valuable resources and possibly lead to oxygen depletion and even acidification of the soil that further impairs molybdenum absorption.
The Manvert Solution
Manvert Fruitsetter is an NP fertilizer and biostimulant enriched with molybdenum and amino acids. It is especially effective when applied on crops that are sensitive to molybdenum shortages such as alfalfa, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, melon, watermelon, baby marrow, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, roses and tobacco. Though studies have found that tomatoes, wheat, maize and citrus fruits can also benefit from an application of molybdenum1.
Specifically, legumes (soy, beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils) can benefit from an application of molybdenum. Legumes are unique plants that can release nitrate back into the soil through its symbiotic relationship with rhizobia bacteria. The nitrate produced and released is both beneficial in the short term (for the plants) and the long term (for the soil). However, if there are sufficient nitrate and insufficient molybdenum, you will find a significantly negative impact on crop quality and yield.
A little goes a long way. Manvert Fruitsetter is recommended for all kinds of crops and is best applied as a foliar application. Please check with your Remitto consultant regarding the specific dosage for the intended crops.
For more information on Fruitsetter or any other Manvert products, please contact your nearest Remitto agent today. Remitto is a proud stockist of the Manvert range in South Africa.