1st Edition

Micronutrient Fertilizer Use in Pakistan Historical Perspective and 4R Nutrient Stewardship

By Abdul Rashid, Munir Zia, Waqar Ahmad Copyright 2023
    340 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Micronutrient research has been an important component of the soil fertility and plant nutrition program in Pakistan since the identification of zinc deficiency in rice in 1969. Since then, considerable progress has been made on diagnosis and management of micronutrient nutrition problems in crops. However, now there is growing R&D evidence that micronutrient malnutrition in humans could be addressed through enriching staple food grains with micronutrients.

    This book presents the latest R&D information on micronutrient problems in crop plants/cropping systems and their corrective measures. The current status, the constraints, and economic benefits of using micronutrient fertilizers for optimizing crop productivity and soil resource sustainability are discussed along with estimating future potential requirement of micronutrient fertilizers to optimize crop productivity, produce quality, and soil resource sustainability.

    Wide-scale preventable micronutrient deficiencies in human populations originate from micronutrient-deficient soils over which staple cereals and other food crops are grown. This book summarizes R&D information on fertilizer use-based micronutrient biofortification in staple food grains to address "hidden hunger" in human populations. The book also presents the best management practices by which micronutrient deficiencies could be corrected in crop plants in a farmer-friendly manner.


    • Reviews the micronutrients R&D carried out in Pakistan over the past five decades
    • Focuses on soil–plant analysis techniques for effective prognosis and diagnosis of micronutrient disorders
    • Presents spatial variability maps of micronutrient deficiencies in agricultural soils and crops
    • Provides value–cost ratios of using micronutrient fertilizers for major crops
    • Works out current use level of micronutrient fertilizers and their potential future requirements in the country
    • Discusses agronomic biofortification approach for enriching crop-based food with micronutrients to address "hidden hunger"
    • Presents a compelling case for enhanced use of the deficient micronutrient fertilizers to optimize crop productivity, farmer income, and national economy
    • Presents micronutrient fertilizer use recommendations for salient crops and discusses fertilizer use for micronutrients in the context of 4R nutrient stewardship
    • Recommends future R&D needed for optimizing micronutrient nutrition of crops

    1. Micronutrients and Their Deficiencies References 2. Prognosis and Diagnosis of Micronutrient Deficiencies 2.1 Crop Sensitivity to Micronutrient Deficiencies 2.2 Deficiency Symptoms in Plants 2.3 Soil Testing for Micronutrients 2.4 Plant Analysis for Micronutrients 2.4.1 Ferrous Analysis in Fresh Plant Tissue 2.4.2 Grain Analysis for Micronutrients 2.5 Soil-Plant Micronutrient Analysis Facilities in Pakistan References 3. Quality Issues with Micronutrient Research Data 3.1 Data Quality Issues 3.2 Suggested Remedial Measures For Quality Assurance Of Micronutrient Data 3.2.1 Remedial Measures For Field And Greenhouse Data 3.2.2 Remedial Measures for Laboratory/Analytical Data References 4. Micronutrient R&D in Pakistan: Historical Perspective and Current Status 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Historical Perspective of Micronutrient Research in Pakistan 4.2.1 Zinc Deficiency 4.2.2 Boron Deficiency 4.2.3 Iron Chlorosis 4.2.4 Contributions of Various Pakistani Institutions in Micronutrient R&D 4.2.5 Salient Reviews concerning Micronutrients in Pakistani Agriculture 4.3 Soil Conditions and Agronomic Practices Inducing Micronutrient Deficiencies 4.4 Establishment of Field-Scale Micronutrient Deficiencies in Pakistan References 5. Micronutrient Status of Soils and Crops in Pakistan 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Total Micronutrients and Supplying Capacity Of Soils 5.2.1 Longevity of Micronutrient Supply Capacity of Pakistani Soils 5.3 Available Micronutrient Status of Soils 5.3.1 Micronutrient Status of Crop Plants 5.3.2 Nature and Extent of Zinc, Boron and Iron Deficiencies 5.4 Extent of Zinc, Boron and Iron Deficiencies 5.4.1 Zinc Deficiency 5.4.2 Boron Deficiency 5.4.3 Extent of Iron Deficiency 5.5 Multiple Micronutrient Deficiencies 5.6 Deficiencies of Other Micronutrients 5.6.1 Copper 5.6.2 Manganese 5.6.3 Molybdenum, Chlorine and Nickel 5.6.4 Iodine 5.7 Mapping of Soil-Plant Micronutrient Deficient Areas 5.8 Soil Classification and Micronutrient Deficiencies References 6. Crop Yield Increases with Micronutrient Fertilization and Its Economics 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Crop Yield Increases and Profitability with Micronutrient Fertilization 6.2.1 Yield Increases and Profitability with Zinc Fertilization 6.2.2 Yield Increases and Profitability with Boron Fertilization 6.2.3 Yield Increases and Profitability with Iron Fertilization 6.3 Produce Quality Improvements with Micronutrient Fertilization 6.3.1 Boron Nutrition of Crop Plants and Produce Quality 6.3.2 Zinc Deficiency in Wheat Impairs Grain Quality 6.4 Economic Benefit of Micronutrient Fertilizer Use 6.4.1 Zinc Fertilizer Use 6.4.2 Boron Fertilizer Use 6.4.3 Iron Fertilizer Use 6. 4.4 Valuing Crop Yield Increase and Health Benefits of Zinc Fertilizer Use in Pakistan 6.5 Practical Implications of Micronutrient Research Information References 7. Micronutrient Fertilizer Sources, Availability and Quality in Pakistan 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Micronutrient Fertilizer Sources 7.2.1 Inorganic Micronutrient Salts 7.2.2 Chelated Micronutrient Fertilizers 7.3 Specifications for Standard Micronutrient Fertilizers 7.4 Micronutrient Fertilizer Products Available in Pakistan 7.4.1 Locally Produced Zinc Sulfate from Zinc Dust 7.4.2 Manufacturers-cum-Distributers of Micronutrient Fertilizers 7.4.3 Importers-cum-Distributers of Micronutrients 7.4.4 Distributers of Micronutrients 7.5 Fertilizer Policy and Micronutrients in Pakistan 7.6 Micronutrient Fertilizer Quality Issues 7.6.1 Micronutrient Fertilizer Quality References 8. Micronutrient Fertilizer Use Efficiency, Residual Effect and Soil Balances 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Micronutrient Fertilizer Use Efficiency 8.3 Residual and Cumulative Effect of Soil-applied Micronutrient Fertilizers 8.4 Apparent Soil Micronutrient Balances References 9. Micronutrient Fertilizer Use in Pakistan 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Micronutrient Use Recommendations for Crops 9.3 Current Use of Micronutrient Fertilizers 9.4 Potential Requirement of Micronutrient Fertilizers 9.4.1 Potential Requirement of Fertilizer Zinc 9.4.2 Anticipated Enhancement in Use of Zinc Fertilizer 9.4.3 Potential Requirement of Fertilizer Boron 9.4.4 Anticipated Enhancement in Use of Boron Fertilizer 9.4.5 Potential Fertilizer Iron Requirement 9.5 Constraints to Micronutrient Fertilizer Use References 10. Strategies for Improving Micronutrient Management 10.1 Introduction 10.2 Awareness Enhancement 10.3 Subsidy on Micronutrient Fertilizers 10.4 Micronutrient-fortified Fertilizer Products 10.5 Adequate Fertilizer Availability in Time and Space 10.6 Micronutrient Fertilizer Quality Control References 11. Micronutrient Biofortification for Addressing Malnutrition in Humans 11.1 Introduction: Soil-Plant Micronutrient Deficiencies and Human Malnutrition 11.2 Biofortification: A Strategy to Address Micronutrient Malnutrition 11.3 Biofortification of Staple Cereal Grains with Zinc, Iodine, Seelnium And Iron 11.3.1 Genetic Biofortification with Zinc 11.3.2 Agronomic Biofortification of Staple Cereals with Zinc, Iodine, Selenium and Iron 11.4 Benefits of High-Zinc Wheat Grains as Seed 11.5 Need for Premium Price for Zn-enriched Wheat References 12. Some Misconceptions about Micronutrients 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Boron Toxicity Apprehension in Soils of Pakistan 12.3 Can Zinc and Phosphorus Fertilizers be Applied Together? 12.4 Are Chelated Micronutrients Definitely More Effective? References 13. Micronutrient Research and Development Needs 13.1 Research Needs 13.2 Development Needs References 14. Managing Micronutrient Deficiencies in the Context of 4R Nutrient Stewardship 14.1 Introduction: The 4R Nutrient Management Stewardship  14.2 Crops Requiring Micronutrient Fertilizer Use In Pakistan 14.3 Micronutrient Fertilizer Use Recommendations 14.4 Compatibility of Micronutrients with Pesticides and Herbicides 14.5 Factors Affecting Availability of Micronutrients to Crops 14.5.1 Residual Value of Previously Applied Micronutrient Fertilizer 14.5.2 Soil Water 14.5.3 Soil pH 14.5.4 Effect of Other Nutrients on Response to a Particular Micronutrient Fertilizer 14.5.5 Genotypic Variation in Micronutrient Uptake and Use Efficiency 14.6 Micronutrient Deficiency Management in the Context of 4R Nutrient Stewardship 14.6.1 Right Source 14.6.2 Right Rate 14.6.3 Right Time 14.6.4 Right Place 14.7 4R Packages for Managing Micronutrient Deficiencies in Major Crops 14.7.1 4R for Managing Zinc and Boron Deficiencies in Wheat 14.7.2 4R for Managing Zinc and Boron Deficiencies in Rice 14.7.3 4R for Managing Zinc and Boron Deficiencies in Cotton 14.7.4 4R for Managing Zinc and Boron Deficiencies in Maize 14.7.5 4R for Managing Zinc and Boron Deficiencies in Sugarcane 14.8 Key Messages for Farming Community References 15. Recommendations 15.1 Introduction 15.2 R&D Recommendations 15. Technology Transfer Recommendations 15.4 Policy Recommendations References Annexures Index


    Abdul Rashid, Munir Zia, Waqar Ahmad