Symptom Identification Key for Nutrient Deficiencies in Wheat and Other Small Grains
Plant symptoms can be used to differentiate and identify crop nutrient disorders. Symptoms of nutrient deficiency vary with variety, growing conditions, and plant age. Similar symptoms may be caused by other abiotic or biotic stresses. Use the following key to help identify nutrient disorders observed in Nebraska wheat and small grains.
For more information on these and related topics, also check the UNL Extension publication, Nutrient Management for Agronomic Crops in Nebraska, EC155, available online, or in soft cover through your local Extension office.
Select the best descriptor for your plant symptoms. (Photos courtesy of the International Plant Nutrition Institute except as noted.)
Symptoms appear first or are more severe on older and/or fully expanded leaves. Select B1 or B2 ►
|B1. Symptoms advance from leaf tip towards the base; uniform distribution with no interveinal chlorosis. Go to D ►|
|B2. Symptoms begin in the leaf mid-section; generally localized but can spread over whole leaf. Go to E ►|
Symptoms appear first or are more severe on younger leaves. Select C1 ►
|C1. Youngest leaves are pale green, yellow or white. Go to F ►|
Pale green plants with pale yellow older leaves.
Dark green plants, often with purple color; oldest leaves may be dark yellow to orange turning to brown.
Pale green plants with a limp or wilted appearance; bright yellow chlorosis turning brown along the margins of the oldest leaves.
Green yellow plants with yellow interveinal chlorosis turning to brown necrosis on the middle leaves.
Stunted, pale green plants with localized white to pale yellow chlorosis, turning to brown or gray necrotic lesions.
Yellow leaves with prominently green veins
(photo courtesy of CIMMYT)
Pale yellow plants; uniformly yellow leaves without necrosis