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Cobalt is a metallic element in the group classified as micronutrients. This group of metals is vitally important for biochemical reactions in most organisms, especially for reactions involving enzymes.
The best-known function of Cobalt in plants is for N-fixing microorganisms, such as Rhizobia, which live symbiotically with legume plants. In N-fixing bacteria, Co is a vital component needed to synthesize vitamin B12, which is necessary to form hemoglobin.
Cobalt in Plants
Cobalt has shown it to be an essential component of several enzymes and co-enzymes that can affect the growth and metabolism of plants However, high Cobalt concentrations can become toxic to plants. The beneficial effects of Cobalt in plants include retardation of leaf senescence, increase in drought resistance in seeds, regulation of alkaloid accumulation in medicinal plants.
Cobalt is the Soil-Life Supporter. Although it is rarely measured in soil tests, it plays a significant role in the support of Rhizobium and other soil bacteria. A soil concentration of 0.5 ppm is considered ideal.
Application rates of Cobalt required to improve legume growth are very low, 1.50 gm per acre.
The application of Cobalt greatly increases the absorption of N, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) which together improves growth to a greater extent.
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