Plant Nutrition

Copper Nutrient Info

Copper - Quick Facts

  • Copper activates enzymes and catalyzes reactions in several processes
  • Copper is necessary to chlorophyll formation and therefore essential for photosynthesis and respiration
  • Many vegetable crops show Cu hunger, with leaves that lose turgor and develop a bluish-green shade before becoming chlorotic and curling
  • Important in the role of pollination of self-pollinating crops such as wheat and barley
  • Form used by plants: Cu+ or Cu+2


Copper - Role of Nutrient

  • Stimulates protein formulation
  • Enhances N utilization
  • Activates several enzymes
  • Critical in the role of photosynthesis, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and respiration.
  • Has a significant influence on color development and regulates the photosynthetic electron transport.
  • Copper assists in the binding of free oxygen radicals which makes them harmless.
  • Copper is important for lignification of cell walls.
  • Copper is important for rhizobia production associated with legumes.


Copper - Nutrient in Soil

  • Cu availability decreases as pH increases but more closely associated with organic matter content.
  • Excess Cu encourages Fe (iron) deficiency.

Copper - Deficiency Symptons

  • Young leaves become wilted with chlorosis and twisting, eventually they wither and die
  • Heads may become deformed and fill poorly
  • Higher incidence of stem melanosis and ergot in self-pollinating crops like wheat and barley
  • In cereals, the youngest leaves turn white due to damaged chloroplasts

Copper - Factors Affecting Deficiency

  • High soil pH, high organic matter, poorly drained and light sandy soils are all factors reducing Cu availability.
  • Excessive manure applications may bind copper to the additional organic matter, further reducing availability.
  • Increasing N impedes movement of Cu from older to newer tissue growth.
  • High concentrations of available Mn, Fe, and P can depress copper absorption by plant roots and may increase the intensity of copper deficiency.

R3 Agronomic Platform

R3 Lifecycle: Roots > Reproduce > Ripen

Roots – The vegetative stage looks to develop vigorous, healthy roots to maximize nutrient acquisition from the soil. The end result is a healthy root rhizosphere.

Reproduce – Supply the essential nutrients at reproduction to help the plant maximize pollen viability, flowering, pollination, seed set and fruit development.

Ripen – Late season nutrition is vital to optimize the nutrient density and quality of the crop.

More about R3