5 Types of Zinc Fertilizer

Zinc fertilizer can reduce the rate of stunted growth and spotted leaves in crops while lessening low yield risks. Further, a crop’s rate of chlorophyll goes up, as do metabolic reactions. As a fertilizer importer or exporter, you need to know the different types of zinc fertilizers that customers may request. What are they?

The five types of zinc fertilizer are as follows:

  • Zinc oxysulfate
  • Zinc oxide 
  • Zinc sulfate monohydrate
  • Zinc sulfate heptahydrate
  • Zinc chelate

In this guide, we’ll explain each of the above types of zinc fertilizer as well as their usage, so make sure you keep reading.

5 Types of Zinc Fertilizer for Fertilizer Importers and Exporters to Know

Zinc Oxysulfate

First is zinc oxysulfate, which is a byproduct of acidulating both sulfuric acid and zinc oxide. The resultant zinc oxysulfate is granulated as well. 

This form of zinc fertilizer contains both zinc sulfates and oxides. We’ll talk more momentarily about what zinc oxide is, but zinc sulfate is a type of inorganic compound that’s commonly used in agricultural sprays, fertilizer, and animal feeds.

When a farmer applies granulated zinc oxysulfate fertilizer to the soil, the zinc sulfate in the formula will dissolve. As it does, zinc sulfate produces zinc oxide particles, which are very texturally fine.

The average zinc content in products containing zinc oxysulfate is usually around 18 percent. Since zinc oxysulfate fertilizer is not considered soluble, the product cannot be added to a solution and then applied to crops. 

Zinc Granular
Zinc Oxysulfate Granular

Zinc Oxide

The second type of zinc-based fertilizer is the aforementioned zinc oxide, which is also known as zinc oxide W-78 in some parts of the world.

Zinc oxide is usually a light-colored powder, which is also true when used as fertilizer. To make zinc oxide requires reduction-oxidation or redox. During redox, electrons are transferred. 

After the redox process, the byproduct that will become zinc oxide fertilizer undergoes a unique treatment to ensure its quality. 

This extra step is worth it, as W-78 zinc oxide fertilizer is known for its purity. 

Although usually powdery, zinc oxide fertilizer can take on a rather dusty texture as well. For a farmer to use zinc oxide fertilizer, they’d need a carrier. They’d also have to avoid application on a particularly windy day.

Otherwise, the fertilizer could travel to unintended locations, affecting crops that don’t necessarily need a coating of zinc fertilizer. 

Zinc oxide fertilizer contains at least 50 percent zinc and sometimes upwards of 80 percent, so it has more zinc than zinc oxysulfate fertilizer. 

Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate

The next type of zinc fertilizer we’ll discuss is zinc sulfate monohydrate. 

Zinc Sulfate Monohydrate is usually available in granulated or crystalline white solid forms that provides both zinc and sulfur.

This fertilizer product usually contains 33 to 35 percent zinc with sulfate. Zinc sulfate monohydrate fertilizer is water-soluble. It can be applied directly to soil, but it also works well when mixed with other nutrients like those found in row crops or trees for fertilizing them properly–or even just used as an animal feed supplement!

Zinc Sulfate Heptahydrate

The fourth type of zinc fertilizer is zinc sulfate heptahydrate, which has upwards of 22.7 percent zinc. 

It too is water-soluble and contains full hydration. This eases the application process, as due to the water content, zinc sulfate heptahydrate fertilizer dissolves quickly.

If a farmer is using a zinc fertilizer to apply it in a solution, then zinc sulfate heptahydrate can be used in its place. 

In the latter scenario, the zinc sulfate heptahydrate fertilizer usually is a much finer powder and is crystalline in nature. The fertilizer is available in several grades.

Farmers can use a boom spray to spray the zinc sulfate heptahydrate fertilizer or they can apply it directly onto the crops. Integrating the fertilizer in a fertigation program using water injection equipment is yet a third application option. 

Zinc Chelate 

Finally, we have zinc chelate, which is also known as chelated zinc. 

Zinc chelate fertilizer comes in a variety of different types, such as a foliar spray or a fertilizer that a farmer adds directly to the soil. Further, zinc chelate as added to a solution is another way to use this type of zinc-based fertilizer.

Chelated zinc fertilizer contains at least nine percent zinc, but again, it depends on the formula and the type. This fertilizer is considered quite expensive, but it will not fixate in the soil. 

How to Apply Zinc Fertilizer 

As your fertilizer business expands to include the above five types of zinc fertilizers, you’ll need to be able to offer your customers recommended usage instructions as well. Without further ado then, here is how to apply zinc fertilizers.

Zinc Soil Application Rates Vary by Soil Type

Depending on the consistency of the soil and its makeup, how much zinc is recommended will vary.

For example, in sandy soil, zinc doesn’t become fixated as easily. These soils will thus naturally contain little zinc but don’t necessarily need higher rates of zinc fertilizer.

Alkaline clay soil is likely to have zinc fixation and does need a high application rate. 

Fertilizer Application Depends on Formula Strength

Some farmers will opt to apply less zinc or a weaker formula more often. 

This might be done in conjunction with fertilizers besides zinc fertilizer and repeated throughout a crop’s active growing season. For vine, plantation, and tree crops, annual feeding in the spring should suffice.

Another option is to apply zinc fertilizer in high amounts to stretch out the amount of time the fertilizer will last.

Farmers typically choose this option when growing sugarcane and pasture crops. The duration of the fertilizer at such a high application rate is usually years.


Zinc fertilizer is available in five unique types: zinc oxysulfate, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate monohydrate, zinc sulfate heptahydrate, and zinc chelate. Each contains varying levels of zinc and may or may not be water-soluble, so their application rates will vary.

OFertilizer are your specialists for zinc fertilizer and other granulate fertilizers. Whether growing crops, fruit trees, grass, or more, through OFertilizer, your plants will have the proper mix of nutrients to thrive.

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