Zinc deficiency significantly reduces growth and yield potential. Low zinc levels reduce fruit number per tree, as trials with navel oranges in Egypt show.
Low zinc levels, though to a lesser extent than fruit number, reduce fruit size, resulting in decreased yields.
Soil and foliar applications are both effective in increasing yield. In some studies in oranges and grapefruit, researchers have also reported increases in juice content from use of Zn.
Zinc increases TSS in fruit, as can be seen on the example above, on Valencia oranges in Chile.
Zinc also increases the ascorbic acid content of the fruit. Under severe Zn deficiency, fruits may be misshapen and have low juice content – the juice present also lacks taste.
Deficiency symptoms first appear as chlorotic leaf spots ('mottle leaf') and/or white interveinal areas with green veins. New leaves are significantly stunted and often occur in rosettes because the twig internodes are shortened. Twig die back can be corrected using foliar sprays, as image above shows (Kinnow mandarim, India).
The main roles of zinc are as a cofactor of enzymes and involvement in the production of growth regulators responsible for internode elongation and chloroplast development. Zinc deficiency significantly reduces growth and yield potential. Low zinc levels reduce fruit number per tree and, to a lesser extent fruit size, resulting in decreased yields. Soil and foliar applications are both effective in increasing citrus production yield.
|Zinc at citrus growth stages|
|Fruit Set||To maintain fruit yield and quality should be applied with each leaf flush|
|Fruit Enlargement and Maturation||Maintain fruit quality|
|Post Harvest||When needed for post harvest foliage flush|