Micronutrients Under The Microscope

Have years of cultivation, over-fertilization and ill-advised farming practices robbed your soil of micronutrients? This month we zoom in on micronutrients and how this often over-looked crop essential can improve both yield and quality. With winter approaching we’ll specifically focus on wheat and the role of micronutrients on wheat production. 

Micro but essential

But first let’s take a look at micronutrients and why all crops need it, even if it’s just in trace amounts. There are at least 8 micronutrients that are essential to cultivating healthy crops. These are iron, manganese, boron, molybdenum, zinc, chlorine magnesium and copper. Although these nutrients are needed in such small amounts, their absence can heavily impact crop yield, quality and increase a crop’s susceptibility to disease.  

Micronutrients required  for wheat production

  1. Boron
  • Function: This element is directly linked to healthy reproductive functioning in plants and stem strength. If your wheat is low on boron flowering and pollination will be negatively impacted.
  • Signs of deficiency: Excessive tillering and sterility of ears.
  • Cause: Boron deficiencies may occur during periods of drought when root development and activity is restricted.
  1. Copper
  • Function: Copper plays a role in various processes such as, growth and fertility (number of grains per ear), aids in photosynthesis, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, and is linked to a plant’s defensive response to pests and disease.
  • Signs of deficiency: Tip dieback in young leaves is often the first sign of a copper deficiency. Mature leaves may also wilt and become blueish-green before becoming chlorotic.
  • Cause: If your soil pH is too high it can affect the availability of copper.
  1. Zinc
  • Function: This trace element is required during protein synthesis and growth regulation especially during the early stages of plant growth.
  • Signs of deficiency: Problems with rooting and stunted growth.
  • Cause: This deficiency often occurs in sandy soils with low organic matter. Cold and wet weather may also impact zinc uptake.

The equally important and supporting micronutrients:

  1. Manganese: Activate metabolic enzymes and speeds up germination and maturity.
  2. Iron: Acts as a catalyst in chlorophyll formation.
  3. Magnesium: This element is at the heart of every chlorophyll molecule and further aids in phosphate metabolism and plant respiration.
  4. Molybdenum: Assists in the production of the enzymes that help obtain and ‘fix’ nitrate in plants.

The Manvert Solution

As the sole distributor of Manvert in South Africa,  we are able to provide the agricultural sector with the most innovative and relevant agrichemical technology such as Manvert’s Complex. This liquid fertilizer is specifically formulated with seven micronutrients which aid in the rebalancing of the most essential micronutrient deficiencies which can arise in plants. Manvert Complex contains boron, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, molybdenum and zinc.

The technology behind Manvert Complex

Due to certain inherit properties, micro-elements such as copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and manganese may be difficult for plants to absorb and distribute throughout the plant. This means that these elements need some help getting into a plant and moving to where it’s needed.

Lignovert Tech is Manvert’s own delivery system that allows us to achieve a high concentration of complex elements with a balanced molecular weight in formulation. Manvert Complex is formulated with lignosulphonic acid (Lignovert Tech) which is used as a complexing agent for the nutrients. Lignosulphonic acid is obtained from cellulose which naturally occurs in wood. Plants are thus able to immediately recognise lignosulphonic acid as one of its own and micronutrients, complexed by lignosulphonic acid, is absorbed much quicker compared to other products using complexing- or chelating agents. Due to the chemical nature of other complexing or chelating agents such as EDTA, these agents are not immediately recognised by the plant and first need to be broken down before the micronutrients are released.

Lignosulphonic acid further decreases the surface tension of pulverised water which improves distribution on the leaf surfaces and increases product coverage over the leaf. Manvert Complex, as a result, is highly compatible with other products applied simultaneously to save time and money.


Micronutrients are required throughout a plant’s the  life cycle to ensure healthy growth. Complex can be applied at any time to prevent or correct deficiencies. The unique formulation and Lignovert Tech technology allows for Complex  to  also be applied to the soil or as a foliar application through any fertigation system.

Want to know more about Manvert Complex or become a stockist? For more information about Complex or any other Manvert products, please contact DNA Plant Science today. DNA is the proud distributor of the Manvert range in South Africa.


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