Diagnosing Nutrient Deficiences

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

 Abiotic and biotic stresses can be difficult to diagnose. The location on the plant, the symptoms observed, severity and speed of onset, and the distribution across the room are all important things to consider when trying to figure out what is happening in the crop.

Perennia has an awesome fact sheet that helps to guide your diagnostic process as to what could be happening in the crop. For access to the factsheet, click here!

Below is a screenshot of page 2 of the document, which illustrates what these nutrient deficiencies typically present as. The side by side comparison of foliar symptoms can be very helpful in pin pointing the culprit in each specific instance. Understanding the mobility of the nutrients is also important in your process - something like Nitrogen, which is mobile through the plant, can easily be re-located to new growth to ensure that it is able to develop properly. That is why nitrogen deficiency typically presents as yellowing of leaves towards the bottom of the plant, as opposed to the top of the plant. 

While nutrient analysis is highly recommended throughout the cropping cycle, those nutrient levels alone might not be telling the whole story. Nutrient availability is highly dependent on the pH of the solution and the growing media. While you might be actively supplementing a nutrient or a micronutrient to your crop, and having your nutrient analysis coming back with sufficient levels of nutrition, interactions within the growing media might be causing inaccessibility of that particular nutrient to the plant roots. Understanding the interaction between your added nutrients, as well as the EC and pH of the substrate and feed solution, should help level out surprise nutrient deficiencies, and allow for more accurate and effective applications of nutrients. 

Looking for more information on nutrient availability and diagnosis of deficiencies? Don't hesitate to reach out to discuss!