NC State Extension Publications


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Nutritional disorder – molybdenum (Mo) deficiency.


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Molybdenum (Mo) deficiency has not been reported under field conditions. Molybdenum deficiencies were induced under controlled greenhouse studies. Symptoms did not develop.

(Descriptions based on the book, Hunger Signs of Crops, 3rd Edition, edited by H.B. Sprague.) Under controlled greenhouse conditions, tobacco plants are slightly stunted when molybdenum is limited. The lower foliage of the plant develops a chlorosis, initially as a pale green, then the spots progress to a necrosis. The leaves may be crinkled and become bent or twisted.

Tobacco production (no symptoms of Mo deficiency)

Tobacco production (no symptoms of Mo deficiency).

©2017 Forensic Floriculture/Matthew Vann

Similar Problems

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None. Submit a tissue sample for analysis to help diagnose the problem.

Additional Information

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Molybdenum is required is very low concentrations, so deficiencies under field conditions is unlikely.

Diagnostic Tips

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The sufficiency range for molybdenum is between 0.2 and 1.0 ppm for burley tobacco. No range is provided for flue cured tobacco.

Corrective Measures

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Provide molybdenum with your fertilization program.


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Provide molybdenum with your fertilization program.

Funding Source

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Funding was provided in part by the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation.

Project Team

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Josh Henry (NC State M.S. student in Horticultural Science), Paul Cockson (NC State B.S. student in Agroecology), Ingram McCall (Research Technician in Horticultural Science), Rhonda Conlon (Extension IT at NC State), Matthew Vann (Tobacco Extension Specialist, Dept. of Crop and Soil Sciences), and Brian Whipker (Professor of Floriculture and Plant Nutrition in Horticultural Science).


Assistant Professor & Tobacco Extension Specialist
Crop and Soil Sciences
Graduate Student
Horticultural Science
Undergraduate Researcher
Horticultural Science
Professor: Commercial Floriculture Production
Horticultural Science

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Publication date: Jan. 1, 2017

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