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Nutritional disorder – molybdenum (Mo) deficiency


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Younger leaves initially develop a pale green coloration. Necrotic spotting between the veins usually follows. With severe deficiencies marginal necrosis develops.

Fruit size is normal.

Depiction of molybdenum (Mo) deficiency.

Depiction of molybdenum (Mo) deficiency.

Brian E. Whipker

Similar Problems

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Iron, manganese, and zinc deficiencies may produced similar symptoms.

Additional Information

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Because symptoms can occur due to many possible causes, it is important to determine the actual cause. Tissue testing will help identify any nutritional disorders. Nutrient deficiencies usually take weeks to develop.

Diagnostic Tips

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Take a soil sample to determine if nutrient levels are inadequate. Submit a leaf sample for nutrient analysis. The sufficiency range for molybdenum in strawberries is between 0.5 and 0.8 ppm. Values above 0.8 ppm are considered high.

Corrective Measures

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Take a soil and tissue test to determine nutrient levels. Make adjustments based on those test results and the lab’s recommendations.


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Conduct a soil test prior to planting the crop to determine if pre-plant fertilizer applications are required. Fertilizer can also be injected to the crop during active growth. Recommendations vary by soil type and your location, so check with local resources for guidelines.

Funding Sources

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Funding was provided in part by the National Sustainable Agriculture Program: Sustainable Strawberry Initiative and the following sources.

A thank you is also expressed to Kube Pak of Allentown, New Jersey for donating strawberry plants.

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Department of Horticulural Science

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Publication date: April 24, 2014

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