Zinc is a trace element found in varying concentrations in all soils, plants and animals and is essential for all forms of life.

Zinc is needed in small but critical concentrations and if the amount available is not adequate, plant and animal life will suffer from the physiological stresses brought about by the dysfunction of enzyme systems and metabolic functions in which zinc plays an important part.

Relatively speaking, this is only a recently discovered scientific fact – with it first being established in the 1940's – however acceptance of this deficiency by many affected countries has only grown since the discovery of widespread zinc deficiency problems in the rice crop, although wheat and corn crops are known to be similarly affected. This has only been within the past 30 years or so.

Some keys points linked to the discovery of widespread zinc deficiency were that it appeared :

  • to be linked to the intensification of farming in many developing countries
  • to have been brought about by the change from traditional agriculture, which relied upon locally-adapted
    crop varieties with low inputs of nutrients, to more modern and higher yielding plant varieties that used
    relatively large amounts of farm fertilisers and agricultural chemicals, especially the macro-nutrients
  • that many of the newer crop varieties were more susceptible to zinc deficiency, and with the increase in use
    of phosphorus this soil deficiency was more likely to occur
  • that the sequential cropping of rice and wheat on the same land, (a new style of farming) introduced into
    both South and East Asia, and made possible by new crop varieties and agronomic expertise has
    also contributed

In marketplaces such as China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines for instance, where the need to maximise food production is at its greatest, land uses for rice and other cereal crops need to seriously address the issue of zinc deficiency as it is preventing crops from attaining their full yield potential.

However, it should also be noted that zinc deficiency is not just a problem in developing countries. It occurs widely in most parts of the USA, throughout Europe and across Australia – all technologically advanced countries.

It is a global issue and must be addressed with a high sense of priority.

This article explores the issue of zinc deficiency in a logical and practical way, and provides information about RLF products that can help combat this crop inhibiting problem.

It will also demonstrate how RLF is leading the way in making the same services of knowledge and understanding, ready access to expert technical advice, and to a range of scientifically engineered liquid fertilisers readily available in today's developed agricultural economies, accessible to marketplaces all over the world. Whether our customers grow in large industrial scale enterprises or farm on small-scale holdings, the same level of expertise and access to appropriate world-leading products is always available.

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