Biokimia “Trace elements” are fertilisers based on one or more trace elements.
Trace elements are not called “trace” because they are of less importance from a nutritional point of view, but because only small amounts are needed to keep a well balanced nutritional condition in respect to macro nutrients like nitrogen, phosphor, potassium and calcium, magnesium and sulphur.
As for all other fertility elements, you need to know the normal soil reserve and the characteristics of the irrigation water in order to define the amount of the eventual carrier corrections to be made. It would be good practice to make trace element applications only after evident deficiency symptoms occur, like progressive limpness and de-coloration with evident yellowing (leaf chlorosis) or other specific symptoms related to each trace element.
Actually, deficiency occurs at least fifteen days prior to first symptoms, consequently we often make curative applications but with poor results due to the evidently late interventions and frequently we need to spend notable amounts on restoring normal chlorophyll activity. There are specific instruments that can diagnose the chlorophyll activity of the plant, assessing if there are any deficiencies in course and to which trace element it is related to. This system is not very quick in individualising any eventual deficiencies and once the results have been given they then need to be examined by experts who can interpret the given data.
It is however essential to prevent the plant from going into blossom with serious symptoms of “chlorosis” caused by trace element deficiencies. This would obstruct normal flower fertility processing and preventing normal fruit setting.
Preventative applications need to be made to avoid this happening. They allow reducing costs to a minimum, making only a few applications before the onset of deficiency symptoms, keeping the plant healthy and reducing environmental impact, instead of using high quantities of product to “cure” the deficiencies.
Trace elements participate in many fundamental processes of the plant
Boron is essential for shoot development, increasing pollen germination and flower fertility, guaranteeing improved blossoming and fruit setting.
It enhances and increases the sugar content of the production.
Copper takes part in the chlorophyll synthesis, respiration process and plant growth.
Iron, in normal conditions, should be present in the plant analysis with values of around 300 to 1300 p.p.m; with serious deficiencies values can drop to 60-90 p.p.m. Iron takes part in chlorophyll molecular formation by bonding with some of the vital growth substances (cytochromes, iron-porphyrin), in amino acid and protein synthesis.
Manganese increases carbohydrate and dry matter production.
Molybdenum is a catalytic element involved in many vital processes, like those accountable for leguminous tubercles formation, that fix nitrogen of leguminous roots and in those accounting for nitrate reduction in leaves.
Zinc is a catalytic element of the tryptophan synthesis, amino acid precursor in the indolyle-3-acetic acid synthesis, the latter is an important auxin substance growth promoter of the plant. It positively influences plant growth and root development.
When we need to choose the correct trace element fertiliser for applications, the chemical form of the trace elements may result decisive, together with the soil characteristics and the target that needs to be achieved.