In order to thrive, and ultimately achieve higher yields, crops need to receive the right amount of nutrients throughout the growing season. There are 17 essential nutrients necessary for proper plant growth and development. While that is a large number of nutrients, magnesium (Mg) is one nutrient that should be incorporated into a balanced crop nutrition plan this season. Here’s why:
- Magnesium is often overlooked, but many essential plant functions require an adequate amount of Mg to help the plant grow. The most visible function is magnesium’s role in root formation, chlorophyll and photosynthesis. All crops require magnesium to capture the sun’s energy for growth and production through photosynthesis. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, is the substance through which photosynthesis occurs. Without chlorophyll, plants couldn’t make food.
- Magnesium is somewhat mobile in the plant, and typically moves from older to younger tissues. When deficiencies occur, the older leaves show the first signs, which may include pale yellow interveinal chlorosis (color loss between the leaf veins), beginning in the middle of the leaf and extending outward. As Mg deficiency symptoms increase, reddening of leaf margins and white chlorotic tissue will occur.
- Magnesium also acts as a phosphorus carrier in plants. This is necessary for cell division and protein formation. Phosphorus uptake could not occur without magnesium, and vice versa. Therefore, magnesium is essential for phosphate metabolism, plant respiration and the activation of several enzyme systems.