Iron is essential for plants to make chlorophyll, plays a role in the synthesis of plant proteins, and helps plants "fix" nitrogen. A deficiency causes young yellow leaves with green veins, symptoms that are often confused with nitrogen deficiency. Iron deficiency often appears in soils with pH above 6.8; at neutral or high pH, the iron that may be in the soil is not readily available to plants.

Iron deficiency in beans causes yellowing between veins on older leaves, overall yellowing in the young ones.

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