Submitted to: Pecan Grower
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2008
Publication Date: June 15, 2008
Citation: Wood, B.W. 2008. Improving nitrogen management using the lesser micronutrients. Pecan Grower. 20(1):40:43. Interpretive Summary: Orchard managers find it increasingly challenging to profitably manage tree/orchard nitrogen (N) nutrition because of high and increasing cost of N-fertilizer. Research has found that tree nickel (Ni), copper (Cu) and molybdenum (Mo) nutrition is likely more limiting to the tree’s ability to assimilate, mobilize, and store N than is commonly supposed by orchard managers. Greater attention to improving tree Ni, Cu, and Mo nutrition offers a means of improving N management of orchards and to reducing N fertilizer associated costs.
Technical Abstract: The effectiveness of pecan orchard N management strategies is partially dependent on maintaining proper tree nutrition for Ni, Cu, and Mo, especially during development of new canopies in early spring. All three essential micronutrients can have major impact on the tree’s ability to utilize, convert, transport, and store N. Because of the great metabolic expense to the tree to produce various organic-N forms needed in growth and developmental processes, and because of the high and rising cost of supplying fertilizer N to orchards, it is becoming increasingly important for orchard managers to pay attention to transitory and hidden-hunger forms of Ni, Cu, and Mo deficiency that can ultimately affect orchard profitability at a level disproportionate to their concentrations in tree organs. Greater attention to Ni, Cu, and Mo can improve tree N nutritional health while often reducing the amount of N fertilizer applied to orchards.