We all know that good nutrition is required to achieve maximum yield potential, but the most
essential element is H20. When receiving below average rainfall events in the growing season it is
paramount to make the most of every drop.
Water use efficiency (WUE) is essential to get maximum efficiency. Getting the crop out the ground
with good phosphorus, nitrogen, sulphur and in some areas potassium, is essential for early vigour
and to set yield potential, but what element is essential for WUE once the crop is established and
follow up rains are limited?
In dryland conditions, improving WUE is an important factor that affects crop yield (Cakmak 1996).
Zinc uptake by the plant root is decreased by low water availability in the soil. Under these conditions
zinc mobility is impeded (Marchner 1995).
WUE and photosynthesis rate are reduced further in plants under the combined effects of drought
and zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency can also affect auxin levels and an application of zinc oxide
results in maintained hormone levels to tolerate drought stress (Waraich 2011)
So how do we get zinc into our plants to improve WUE? There are many products available in a
range of formulations and a range of costs. The reasons for picking IcON Zinc are:
• Bang for buck. Cost approximately $2-$4 /ha (depending on rate and store price)
• At 150mL/Ha you can achieve 225g of zinc directly to the foliage
• Extremely gentle to the plant with minimal to no leaf burn
• Highly compatible with a wide range of herbicides (always check labels and compatibility charts)
While applying zinc for WUE you also get other benefits from an application of IcON Zinc including:
• It activates enzymes in protein synthesis, plus is involved in the regulation and consumption of sugars
• It is necessary for starch formation and proper root development.
• Zinc influences the rate of seed and stalk maturation.
• It is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and carbohydrates.
• The presence of adequate amounts in the tissue enables the plant to withstand
lower air temperature.
I challenge you to take home a drum or two of IcON Zinc and apply it at 150ml/ha to see if it helps
your crops through the current conditions.