The main need for calcium in Nebraska is as a liming material on acid soils. Magnesium deficiency symptoms are seldom found in Nebraska, and magnesium application is warranted only under special situations.
Sulfur deficiencies are found on low-organic-matter, sandy soil areas in Nebraska. Sulfur sources are predominantly from fertilizers, but some areas of the state have high sulfates in the water. Soil tests don’t adequately measure soil sulfur, since sulfur is mineralized from soil organic matter throughout the season.
Although there has been much interest in micronutrients for crop production, deficiencies of micronutrients are not widespread. Zinc deficiency is associated with topsoil removal of calcareous soils, and is most likely to occur when corn is grown on these soils. A soil test is a good tool to evaluate the zinc status of a soil.
Iron chlorosis is most common on calcareous soils, high pH bottomland soils, and poorly drained soils. Crop selection and proper soil management are the best methods to reduce the occurrence of iron chlorosis. The other five micronutrients are of little concern at this time, since their deficiencies are rare or have not been identified in Nebraska.
It should be noted that manure and municipal sewage are excellent sources for all the plant nutrients discussed in this lesson.