A Review On The Value Of Copper Sulphate in Agriculture
By Jo Alelsto
Copper sulphate is an ionic substance. This means that it is readily soluble in water to yield copper and sulphate ions. This property is important in fertilizer industry. Copper sulphate is used to treat insufficiency of copper in the soil. Copper is an important element in plant growth, although it may be toxic in large concentrations. Copper is found in a number of proteins and enzymes in plants that activate certain biochemical processes in them. Agricultural studies show that enzymes are necessary to plant growth and reproduction. The formation of seeds and chlorophyll rely on the presence of copper in plants. Photosynthesis and respiration, two essential processes in plants, are affected by the amount of copper. Lack of copper renders pollen less viable and it is also been associated with empty grains. The signs of copper deficiency are manifested in plants through yellowish or bluish discolorations, brown spots, and abnormal leaf shapes. Animals devouring on vegetation that grows in copper deficient soils may well suffer copper deficiency too. Copper is essential in protein and enzyme synthesis in animals. It is involved in the production of hemoglobin in animals. In fact, some cases of anemia in animals are believed to be due to copper deficiency. Application of copper sulphate onto copper deficient soils corrects these problems.
In seed nurseries, the incorporation of copper sulphate in the soil medium prevents damping off in seedlings. Damping off is another fungal infection that renders seedling stalks to rot, thus, killing the sprouting seedling. Furthermore, the toxic effects of cupric sulphate to snails that serve as vectors to parasites such as liver fluke and Schistosoma have lowered the cases of liver fluke infections and Schistosomiasis in animals. Small amounts of copper sulphate serve as additives in livestock and poultry feeds.