Effects of foliar application of zinc sulfate at different phenological stages on yield formation and grain zinc content of bread wheat (cv. Kohdasht)

Majid Abdoli1*, Ezatollah Esfandiari2, Seyed Bahman Mousavi3 and Behzad Sadeghzadeh4

ABSTRACT

Zinc (Zn) is an essential mineral nutrient for plant and human growth, and dietary Zn deficiency is a worldwide nutritional problem. Two-year field experiments were conducted during the 2013 and 2014 to evaluate the effects of foliar application of zinc sulfate at the developmental stages on agronomy traits and grain Zn content. The following foliar applications of Zn (0.44 g Zn/lit) at the phenological stages were used: (1) no Zn fertilizer addition (control), (2) stem elongation stage and (3) stemming and grain filling stages. The results showed that foliar Zn application at the stemming and grain filling stages was much more effective than foliar Zn application at the stem elongation stage on grain yield and its components of wheat. Foliar application at stemming and grain filling stages had no significant effect on the harvest index whereas significantly increased plant height. Zn concentration was not changed when plants were sprayed at early stem elongation while significantly increased grain yield and its components. In general, the most effective treatments to ameliorate Zn deficiency were foliar application at stemming and grain filling stages.

Keywords: Zinc, Foliar spray, Grain filling, Grain Zn content, Wheat.

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