Winter cereals – the need for trace elements

Providing crops with the necessary nutrients is the key to a high, high-quality and stable harvest.

The EU Directive of 13.10.2003 contains a list of macro and micronutrients necessary for the development of specific crops. After reviewing it, we will understand whether it is worth overpaying for trace elements that the culture does not need or to apply fertilizers that can be harmful, being toxic to the plant.

Why should we carry out foliar feeding of winter cereals?

  1. Often the soil does not contain the required amount of nutrients to meet the needs of plants. At alkaline pH, trace elements become unavailable.
  2. Cereals provided with copper, manganese and molybdenum retain water in the cells, the cell sap is compacted, thereby accumulating soluble carbohydrates, and zinc, manganese and copper affect the formation of a powerful root system.
  3. Trace elements reduce the appearance of root rot. Copper slows down the development of ergot and rust infections.
  4. Plants properly supplied with nutrients are more resistant to adverse weather conditions and recover faster.
  5. By applying regularly foliar fertilizing with microelements, you can limit the amount of nitrogen without losing the yield.
  6. Copper takes part in the formation of lignin thereby affecting lodging. Plants lacking copper are thin and break easily.
  7. Trace elements enhance metabolism. They are part of hormones, as well as many enzymes, therefore they are an important factor in the growth and development of a plant. Crops that are correctly supplied with microelements develop intensively, are more viable, accumulate nutrient reserves more intensively and recover faster.
  8. Copper, manganese and zinc improve the absorption and processing of nitrogen. This influences the protein content of the grain.

We can provide plants with trace elements in two ways: 

  1. By treating the seeds before sowing with fertilizers, in this case, the trace elements will be available in a very important – the initial phase of growth, regardless of weather conditions and soil quality.
  2. Foliar feeding. Processing can be started from the moment of tillering (from the phase of 4 leaves). In crops of rye and winter barley (they tillering occurs exclusively in autumn) foliar feeding is of key importance for obtaining a high yield. In this phase, the crop is formed – seeds are formed in the ear. In the phase of the first knot, if you cut the stem crosswise, you can see the ear is fully formed – later we will not increase the number of seeds.

Foliar dressing gives quick results, but the fertilizer should dissolve easily in water, not change the pH of the working fluid and be suitable for joint use. Only fertilizers with chelated microelements have these properties.

Professor Renata Gai (University of Nature in Poznan) has repeatedly written in her articles over the past year: “Trace elements in chelated form can be used in an amount 5 times less than in other forms. Such fertilizers are the most effective. “

To obtain the same results, using 100 g of fertilizer in a chelated form – you must apply 500 g of trace elements in the form of salts.

It is known that not all chelates are created equal. You need to know that there are special biodegradable IDHA chelates on the market. IDHA is the only chelating agent registered by a Polish fertilizer manufacturer in the European Union.

Using these fertilizers, farmers can be sure that IDKHA chelates are really absorbed by plants, are safe for use, and show themselves well in tank mixes. IDHA provides a high level of nutrient absorption, decomposes the soil without releasing heavy metals.

Fertilizers with IDHA additionally contain surfactants, therefore we get a reduced tension of the working fluid and nutrients are absorbed better. Foliar dressing is more effective. Fertilizers of this type must be patented, then we can be sure of their quality

In the fall, crops are difficult to absorb phosphorus and potassium from the soil. This is due to the lower ambient temperature as well as soil pH. During this period, it is necessary to apply fertilizers additionally containing phosphorus and potassium, while it must be remembered that the combined use of fertilizers with phosphorus and trace elements becomes impossible if the trace elements are not chelated.

The last foliar feeding should be carried out several days before frost.

Ozimye zernovye1

Lack of copper

Ozimye zernovye2

Lack of manganese

Ozimye zernovye3

Zinc deficiency

Dr Błażej Chudziński (Блажей Худзински)

M.Sc. Eng. Paweł Jobczyk (Павел Йобчик)