Documenting Nutrient Deficiency and Accumulation Rate in Vegetables

Greenhouse hydroponic study to document nutrient deficiency symptoms in various annual and perennial crops


25 Feb 2013

2012 Annual Interpretive Summary

When crops do not receive an adequate supply of any of the essential plant nutrients, deficiency symptoms may appear along with reduced growth rates and diminished harvest quality. Efforts to document mineral nutrient deficiency symptoms have primarily been focused on common grain crops. However horticultural crops account for about one-third of the total agricultural value in the U.S., but still receive much less scientific attention. Because of their smaller acreage, common fruit and vegetable crops are often relegated to “specialty” status, despite their large economic value. This project was designed to document mineral nutrition deficiency symptoms on a range of important horticultural crops grown in the greenhouse.

This project is currently growing a variety of plants in carefully controlled hydroponic solutions to collect high-resolution photographs of nutrient deficiency symptoms. The catalog of these pictures is completed for lettuce, blueberries and papaya. On-going work is now examining deficiency symptoms for peppers, eggplant and okra. As these crops are completed, the images will be added to the IPNI website. This project continues the work that Dr. Pitchay co-authored a few years ago in the book: Nutrient Deficiencies in Bedding Plants: A Pictorial Guide for Identification and Correction. TN-20