Postbloom Humic- and Fulvic-based Zinc Sprays Can Improve Apple Zinc Nutrition

in HortScience

Zinc supplied as a fulvic-based Zn compound was absorbed and retranslocated to unsprayed new growth as effectively as zinc sulphate in apple seedlings of low Zn status grown hydroponically in the greenhouse. Similarly, fulvic- and humic-based compounds were as effective as zinc sulphate at improving short-term growth and Zn uptake into new tissues in Zn-deficient apple seedlings, with the best growth occurring at spray concentrations of Zn at 500 mg·L-1. Under field conditions, Zn concentration of peeled and washed `Jonagold' apples at harvest was increased, without phytotoxicity, by two or four postbloom sprays of fulvic Zn. It is therefore possible to use this material safely as an effective Zn-source after bloom. However the mobility of the foliar-applied Zn is limited and any yield response by treated apple orchards of marginal Zn nutrition is unlikely to occur in the short term (within two growing seasons).

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