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Which one to choose for zinc fertilizer, zinc sulfate, zinc oxide or zinc chloride?

April 12,2023

A farmer growing tomatoes called and asked, "I'm worried about the occurrence of virus disease, does this zinc fertilizer have anything to do with it, and does it have anything to do with zinc deficiency?" The answer is: yes.

Zinc is one of the trace elements necessary for crop growth, and it is involved in the synthesis of growth factors in the crop. Therefore, the growth of root tips, stems, young leaves, and stem ends are all dependent on zinc. In other words, the length of the root system is determined by the element zinc; the thickness of the root is determined by the element calcium; the number of the root system is determined by the element phosphorus.Zinc, which is one of the elements in the plant for the formation of various enzymes, is involved in photosynthesis, in the metabolism of proteins, and it plays a vital role in the formation and development of seeds and fruits. If a plant is deficient in zinc, it will first manifest itself in the young leaves, which slowly lose their green color starting along the middle of the veins. It is important to note that a distinction needs to be made between zinc deficiency and potassium deficiency. Potassium deficiency develops first on the older leaves and then from the tips of the leaves or from the edges towards the middle towards the stem, which is the opposite direction of zinc deficiency.

What kind of soil is prone to zinc deficiency?

Alkaline and acidic soils as well as calcareous soils are prone to zinc deficiency. Besides, if you have too much phosphate fertilizer, it can also lead to zinc deficiency in the soil.

How can I supplement if I find zinc deficiency?

Zinc sulfate, zinc oxide, and zinc chloride are the three products that are most commonly used. It is divided into zinc sulfate heptahydrate and zinc sulfate monohydrate, the zinc content of zinc sulfate heptahydrate is 21% and zinc sulfate monohydrate is 35%. Therefore, zinc sulfate monohydrate is used more in the market. Zinc oxide, which has little solubility and poor mobility, if it is used in the same year, the absorption and utilization rate in the same year is very low and it tends to show still zinc deficiency, so in general, zinc oxide is not chosen. However, it has the advantage that once applied, it has a long shelf life and zinc oxide has a higher zinc content. Zinc chloride, which contains chlorine, is not generally used for growing vegetables. In terms of affordability, and effectiveness, the use of zinc sulfate is the optimal choice.

Precautions for using zinc fertilizer:

Whether you use zinc sulfate, zinc oxide, or zinc chloride as zinc fertilizer, do not use this with some phosphate fertilizers such as monoammonium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, or potassium dihydrogen phosphate. Also, it should not be used together with alkaline fertilizers. Because zinc sulfate can be hydrolyzed into zinc hydroxide, which is a strong alkali and can be harmful to the soil.