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Satellite Technologies For Plant Nutrient Deficiency Identification And Treatment

Jun 17, 2022

Satellite Technologies For Plant Nutrient Deficiency Identification And Treatment

Nutrient Deficiencies In Plants: How To Identify & Treat

Nutrient deficiency is the main cause of stunted plant growth often leading to complete crop losses. Nonetheless, crop starvation for micro or macronutrients can be diagnosed visually, and prompt identification will save the affected yields.

Frequent visual symptoms of nutrient deficiency in plants comprise malformation, discoloration, dotting, crinkling, and even necrosis. When a visual examination is not feasible, satellite monitoring is another convenient way of preliminary nutrient deficiency diagnostics. Manifestations of different elements’ undersupply can be similar, so it is critical to understand which one is lacking and provide it on time.



What Is A Nutrient Deficiency In Plants?

The term implies limited access to vital chemical elements causing deviations in crop development. It happens because vegetation needs certain chemical elements at each phenological stage in certain volumes. For proper vegetation development, the chemicals and their volumes should be balanced correctly.

What Nutrients Do Crops Need And Why?

There are primary (major) and secondary (minor) chemical elements vital for crops. We refer to a nutrient deficiency if vegetation is starving for any of them.

The primary chemical elements are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), alongside calcium (Ca). sulfur (S) or magnesium (Mg). These chemicals support ultimate vegetation needs. The biggest volumes are included in the fertilizers of the N-P-K group. Besides, vegetation requires minor volumes of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), boron (B), manganese (Mn), etc.


What Causes A Nutrient Deficiency In Plants

Vegetation’s nutrient starvation frequently happens due to a lack of chemicals in poor soils. However, crops may be unable to absorb the required chemicals even when the soils are rich. In particular, it happens due to soil salinization, a serious cause of nutrient deficiency in plants.

Besides, the ability to uptake nutrients depends on the vegetation state and crop production environment. Thus, nutrient transportation will be impaired due to:

● damaged or undeveloped roots;

● insufficient or excessive irrigation;

● poor drainage;

● improper pH rates.

Another important issue to consider is the crop’s need for specific chemicals at certain phenological stages. Thus, crop producers must address nitrogen nutrient deficiency causing the plant to be pale-green during the phase of active growth. However, at the blooming and fruiting time, crops require K and P for seed and fruit formation. So, K and P deficiency control will be relevant.


How To Identify A Nutrient Deficiency In Plants?

Detection starts with field inspection for crop growth failures. Further, one needs to exclude abnormal conditions with similar signs and provide the crop with the corresponding element.

Plant nutrient deficiency identification comprises the following methods:

● visual examination to exclude pest attacks and crop diseases due to biotic stresses;

● consideration of a possible impact of unfavorable growth environment (abiotic stresses);

● in-field and remote crop monitoring for the signs of nutrient deficiency;

● soil testing for chemical content, pH and electrical conductivity (EC), salinity, etc.


Access high-resolution satellite images to ensure effective fields management!


How To Prevent And Treat Nutrient Deficiency In Plants

Leaf spraying or adding the lacking chemical to the rhizome are typical options. If absorption of the required nutrient is impossible due to certain field conditions, the issue should be diagnosed via soil testing and accordingly addressed.

Applying fertilizer mixers may lead to undesirably high concentrations of other components. To avoid nutrient imbalance and toxicity, it is preferable to practice one-element (mono-nutrient) supplies.

Satellite Technologies For Plant Nutrient Deficiency Identification And Treatment

Despite satellite technologies cannot detect the exact type of nutrient deficiency, they can definitely tell if the crop is experiencing stress. Using various vegetation indices on our platform, you will easily spot that stress and start analyzing the cause. As timely identification of crop nutrient deficiency is critical, especially in the case of macronutrient starvation, Crop Monitoring acts as a preventive alarm.


Weather forecasting is another important feature of EOS Crop Monitoring that facilitates efficient treatment for nutrient deficiency in plants. Knowing the upcoming weather, you can avoid undesired fertilizer leaching and choose the most favorable day for fertilization with the best results.

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