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[EBOOK] A Guide to Identifying and Managing Nutrient Deficiencies in Cereal Crops, By Manoj Kumar Sharma and Prakash Kumar, Published by IPNI

An element ts considered essential to plants when it Is Involved In plant metabolic functions, and its absence prevents plants Irom completing their life cycle (I.e., to grow and reproduce!. Seventeen elements are most commonly identified as essential. These are. In order of relative concentration In plants: carhon (C). hydrogen <10. oxygen IO>. nitrogen (Nl. potassium 00, calcium ICa). magnesium (Mg). phosphorus IPI, sulphur (S), chloride (Cf), Iron (fe!. horon IB), manganese <Mn), zinc (Zn). copper <Cu). molybdenum (Mo), and nickel (Ni). Other elements that have been identified as beneficial, but not necessarily essential to all plants, include coball (Co), selenium (Sc), silicon (Si), sodium (Na). vanadium (VI, and aluminium (All. Among this list, N. p, and K are considered the primary macronutrients; Ca, Mg, and s are considered secondary macronutrients; and the remaining ate micronutrients. but this does not mean that they are less important. All the essential nutrients are required by plants in balanced proportions for optimum growth.

Nutrient deficiencies occur when Insufficient quantities are available to meet the requirements of a growing plant and are often manifested as visual symptoms on plan) parts. Such visual symptoms could take several forms, such as stunting, chlorosis, discoloration, or necrosis. They mav be observed In the older or younger parts of the plant depending on the mobility of the nutrient within the plant.

Recognizing nutrient deficiency In crop plants Is often difficult fot even the most experienced eyes. Multiple nutrient deficiencies can occur at the same lime and some symptoms are similar for different elements, making it even more confusing. Nutrient deficiencies can also be confused with symptoms of disease, drought, excess water, genetic abnormalities, herbicide and pesticide damages, and Insect attack. However, each defi-ciency symptom is related to some function of the nutrient in the plant, for example, stunting of plants occurs w hen a nutrient Involved In plant functions such as stem elongation, photosynthesis and protein production is deficient. So understanding the basics of nutrient deli-clency and sufficient field experience can make the task of nutrient deficiency identification easier.

Mulll-nutrlent deficiencies In Indian soils are a major concern. Besides the obvious implication of yield loss of crops, such deficiencies. If not corrected with adequate external Inputs, could cause serious damage to the soil quality. Along with the dependence on soil and plant testing, emphasis must be given to walking Ihe fields and developing d trained eye to detect and interpret nutrient deficiency symptoms. Early detection of nutritional disorders through recognition of visual symptoms can allow quick correction of opted nutrient management strategies and prevent yield loss.

This booklet on nutrient deficiencies of cereal crops, developed by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNII and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CLMMVTI. Is designed as a field guide to identify nutrient deficiency symptoms of the major cereal crops in the field, to understand the underlying causes of such deficiencies and how they might be prevented or remedied Excellent deficiency photographs provided by Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma and Dr. Prakash Kumar of Depart-ment of Agriculture. Government of Rajasthan, and IPNI, win allow the user of this field guide to understand the development of nutrient deficiency symptoms Ihrough the growth stages of the crop. We expea that this book will be a useful reference for researchers and extension staff Involved In cereal production and knowledge dlv semination and will help minimize cereal yield losses due to nutrient deficiencies.

Dr. Kaushlk Majumdar

[EBOOK] A Guide to Identifying and Managing Nutrient Deficiencies in Cereal Crops, By Manoj Kumar Sharma and Prakash Kumar, Published by IPNI

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