Authors: MUHAMMAD YASEEN, WAZIR AHMED, MUHAMMAD SHAHBAZ
Abstract: Deficiency of micronutrients, particularly of zinc, boron, and iron, in calcareous soils is of great concern. Results indicate a reduction in yield of seed-cotton due to an imbalance of nutrients, particularly micronutrients, on calcareous soils in the last decade. About 90% of Pakistani soils are deficient in micronutrients, particularly zinc, boron, and iron. This paper highlights efforts to overcome these deficiencies in cotton through foliar feeding of micronutrients. The results of this study indicated a marked improvement in seed-cotton yield with foliar application of a spray containing Zn, B, Mn, Cu, and Fe on cotton crops grown on calcareous soils in the presence of the recommended doses of farmers' soil applied NPK fertilizers. Foliar application also improved the nutrient status of leaves compared to soil applied fertilizers alone. This improvement in nutrient status resulted in an increase in the number of flowers, number of bolls, and ultimately of seed-cotton yield. The increased yield resulted in 20%-30% more economic benefit over NPK fertilizers alone.
Keywords: Cotton, foliar feeding, micronutrients, nutrient uptake
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