01 Feb 2012

2011 Crop Nutrient Deficiency Photo Contest Winners

Winners of IPNI 2011 Crop Nutrient Deficiency Photo Contest

IPNI has announced the winners of the 2011 Crop Nutrient Deficiency Photo Contest. “We received a record number of submissions in 2011 so we are also glad to see a continued growth in interest for our contest,” noted IPNI President Dr. Terry Roberts. “It is proving to be a valuable way for our readers to share their examples of nutrient deficiency in crops, and show off their field observation and photography skills.” This year’s group of entrants was indeed global in scope and our judges were provided with a very diverse collection to evaluate.

Entries were judged on the overall visual quality of the image and any supporting data provided. IPNI extends congratulations to all winners and thanks to all entrants.

Best Overall Photo

Grand Prize (USD 200): Boron (B) Deficiency in Oil Palm

Jose Alvaro Cristancho Rodriguez, Postdoctoral Researcher in Soil and Water Management, Cenipalma, Columbia, captured this image of a 2-year old oil palm hybrid crop (Elaeis oleífera x Elaeis guineensis, Jacq.) in Altamira estate, Casanare, Colombia. Wrinkled leaflets/frond characterized B deficiency. The B content in frond 9 was 10 mg/kg and in frond 17th was 12 mg/kg. This acute B deficiency could be a result of the planting material and also because of liming applications and high rates of N applied in 2009 and 2010.


1st Prize (USD 150): N-Deficient Castor

Dr. Prakash Kumar, Agricultural Research Officer, Department of Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan, India, captured a close-up of N deficiency in castor (Ricinus communis Linn.) in Dodua, District Sirohi, Rajasthan. The soil had 136 kg/ha of N. Thirty (30) days after the crop was sown, it’s older leaves turned pale green or yellow while younger leaves remained green.

Runner-up (USD 75) - N-Deficient Wheat – Sala Florin, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Timisoara, Romania, provided an interesting example in wheat—taken at the end of tillering and the beginning of stem elongation stage. This field in Voiteg, Romania, was fertilized with liquid swine manure (2 m applicator width) in the fall season and incorporated at a depth of 12 to 15 cm. While moving the applicator to the edge of the plot, a portion of the field did not receive any manure and N deficiency occurred in the spring season. Wheat plants in the fertilized area had total N of 7.3%, while those in the unfertilized area had total N of 3.5%.


1st Prize (USD 150): P-Deficient Hybrid Maize

Dr. Ch Srinivasa Rao, Principal Scientist (Soil Science), Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad, India, submitted this conspicuous example of P deficiency in a hybrid maize crop at seed-filling stage. Symptoms of P deficiency included purple pigmentation, stunted growth, reduced leaf size, and small cobs, and led to complete failure of maize crop. The soil was light-textured (an Alfisol) with 12% clay content, 3.2 g/kg organic C, and 4.8 kg/ha (low) Bray-P. Leaf tissue analysis also registered a lower value of 0.12% P.

Runner-Up (USD 75) P-Deficient Soybean – Luiz Antônio Zänao Júnior, Agricultural Resaerch Institute of Paraná, Brazil, shot this close-up showing P deficiency in soybean at flowering (R2) stage. The photo shows P deficiency through a side-by-side comparison of a plot that received 120 kg/ha of P2O5 (left) and a P-omission plot (right). In the P omission plot, the soil had low available P (0.77 mg/kg Mehlich-1), and leaf analysis also indicated a low P content (0.1%). P-deficient soybean plants had small leaflets and showed stunted growth.


1st Prize (USD 150): K-Deficient Coconut

Dr. Jeena Mathew, Scientist, Soil Science, Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Regional Station, Kayamkulam, Alleppy, Kerala, India, submitted this classic example of K deficiency in 30-year old coconut (cv. West Coast Tall) grown in a coastal sandy loam soil with pH 4.2 to 4.5. The shot was taken at a farmers's field in Edava Panchayath, Trivandrum district, Kerala. Symptoms of K deficiency included yellowing in older leaves progressing from the margin towards the base. Tips of the leaflet were withered and necrotic, the midrib was green, but the leaves had an orangish tinge with some leaves having a scorched appearance. Potassium content in the 14th leaf (index leaf in coconut) was found to be 0.64%, which is well below the critical level (1.2%). The K content of the soil was also low at 42 kg/ha.

Runner-up (USD 75) K-Deficient Sesame – P. Jeyakumar, Associate Professor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Tamil Nadu, India, shot this characteristic example of K deficiency in sesame (Gingelly, cv. TNAU Sesame TMV 3) wherein K-deficient plants exhibited yellowing of leaf tips followed by drying in matured leaves. Under acute deficiency, the younger leaves also showed yellowing and tip drying. The capsules became small and slender. Potassium content in the affected plants was found to be low at 1.17%.

Other (Mn)

1st Prize (USD 150): Mn-Deficient Basil

Matthew Stewart, E.E. Muir & Sons, Victoria, Australia, provided this example of Mn deficiency in hydroponically grown (NFT System) basil at harvest stage. Symptoms appeared as a yellowing of tissue in-between veins, visible on upper, middle, and lower leaves. Hydroponic feed solution analysis revealed a Mn level of 0.17 ppm (ideally it should be >0.5 ppm) and petiole sap analysis found a Mn level of 0.8 ppm (ideally it should be >2.0 ppm). The supply of Mn was increased by 100% and new growth showed no signs of the deficiency.
Runner-up (USD 75) Fe-Deficient Guava – P. Jeyakumar, Associate Professor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Tamil Nadu, India, submitted this interesting case of Fe deficiency in a 2-year old guava (Psidium guajava) grown in the eastern block farm of the university. The interveinal areas of leaves appear yellow while the midrib and veins are green in color. The leaf Fe content was 65 ppm, while the uptake was found to be less than 12 mg/kg. Rapid tissue analysis also confirmed Fe deficiency. Assessment of chlorophyll (SPAD) in Fe-deficient leaves showed a lower value of 24.6, while normal leaves had an average SPAD value of 40.3.

Now Available: IPNI Crop Nutrient Deficiency Collection

Each year, the best examples of crop nutrient deficiency are gathered from the IPNI Crop Nutrient Deficiency Photo Contest, and are added to the comprehensive assortment of hundreds of classic cases of crop nutrient deficiency documented from research plots and farm fields located around the world. Click here for more details on obtaining a copy of this collection. The collection now has almost 500 images of very high quality.