• Plant Health
  • Aug 02, 2021

Want Big Yields? Don’t Skimp on Zinc.

WinField United grower analyzing corn plant health.
When it comes to plant nutrition, N, P and K are often in the limelight. But zinc is an unsung nutrient hero that helps maintain some of a plant’s most important physiological processes. Here are some reasons it’s time to rethink the power of zinc.

Zinc promotes consistent emergence.

Hybrids that get a strong start are better equipped to meet their yield potential. Zinc is a catalyst for enzyme creation and is a precursor for auxin hormones that signal seed germination. When early zinc levels are adequate, there is more consistent seed germination and emergence.
One way to ensure plants have enough zinc early in the season is by incorporating the nutrient into your seed treatment. All CROPLAN® corn hybrids come with Fortivent® Zn seed treatment at no additional cost to you. We make this investment because we know seed that starts strong has better potential to battle stress later in the season. In fact, zinc-treated corn seed at our Answer Plot® locations has shown an average yield advantage of 4.7 bushels per acre over standard seed treatments.

Healthy root development requires zinc.

Because zinc is an essential component for many enzymes, it’s important for the growth and development of healthy roots. Adequate zinc levels and quicker emergence tend to lead to more robust early root growth in the corn plant. This sets the plant up for a bigger root footprint earlier in the year to capture water and nutrients.

When zinc is sufficient, so are other nutrients.

If zinc helps build healthy roots, it makes sense that the uptake of other nutrients would also increase with sufficient zinc. Previous on-farm tissue sample results have shown increased levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur when zinc levels were sufficient in the plant.
Zinc is immobile in soil and tissue, so it’s critical that plants have a constant supply throughout the season to meet growth and development needs. In addition to a seed treatment, you can boost early-season zinc levels with a starter fertilizer. Tissue samples can help identify opportunities for in-season foliar applications or planned applications of dry zinc before the next season.
For more information about CROPLAN hybrids with Fortivent Zn seed treatment, contact your local retailer.

This article was originally published in August 2018 and was updated in August 2021.

All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.
© 2021 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. CROPLAN, Fortivent, Answer Plot and WinField are trademarks of WinField United.