Many times during the phenological cycle, especially during cell division, growers apply Calcium; historically there has been a wide use of Calcium Chloride.
The grower Standard Calcium program dictates that the grower should apply Calcium Chloride at a rate of up to 20 foliar applications during major cell division periods between flower, fruit-set and harvest, depending on the type of crop and various other factors.
We know that Calcium Chloride particles are physically large and therefore would need entry via the leaf Stomata, which are not always open. Leaf stomata have guard cells that protect entry of foreign bodies into the plant via a charge and this charge binds to minerals attempting to gain entry, further restricting uptake of the calcium.
Multiple applications are required to increase Calcium levels and multiple applications are also required because the chloride in the product burns the leaf when too much product is applied at once. When applied at low rates the degradation of the leaf is not visible to the naked eye although still present.
Once inside the plant, Calcium is naturally a very immobile element, meaning it is difficult to move throughout the plant’s system in these forms.
Aside from the resources used in tractor runs for the numerous applications of Calcium Chloride, the non-absorbed product that sits on the leaf can also be washed to the soil and cause a build-up. Chloride and sodium negatively impact soil. Whilst Chloride is an essential micronutrient and all crops require Chloride in very small quantities, (generally, enough is gained through natural events like rainfall), Chloride is often associated with salinity, damage and toxicity. Many crops are sensitive to Chloride and accumulated levels also affect seed germination and plant water uptake.
Under the microscope, we can see that new technologies with a smaller Calcium molecule has the ability to penetrate the leaf at 100% efficacy. No Calcium residue is left on the leaf surface.
This innovation in the way we manufacture Calcium mineral fertiliser, by chelating it in Glycine, is not new but it is not yet mainstream, despite its unparalleled efficacy.
Increased absorption means that a smaller amount of product is needed which uses fewer resources in fewer applications.
Also, removing any Chloride fillers from the Calcium formulation you use means that should any product reach the soil, it won’t contribute to overall soil salinity or negatively impact soil quality.
FIELD TRIALS USING BIOMIN CALCIUM
In field trials, observations show that from a lower initial Calcium level in crops of Braeburn apples, BIOMIN Calcium (with a smaller molecular weight) with just five (5) applications was able to increase calcium levels in the fruit significantly above a control crop using thirteen (13) applications of Calcium Chloride. We look at the benefits of Glycine Chelated Calcium compared with Calcium Chloride fertilizer.
Once absorbed, the more bio-available Glycine Chelated Calcium molecules are able to move freely throughout the plant and be used in the areas it’s needed most, the growing points. Fruit with optimal Calcium levels have:
- Brighter, richer colours
- Firmer and crunchier fruit
- Heavier weights
- Improved storage quality and shelf life because the cell membrane is thicker and firmer
- Fewer physical disorders, and lower pest and disease incidence
- Less fruit split after heavy rainfall
- Stronger, more robust plant parts
- Detoxifying agent
- Higher yield.
Initial comparison of price of product per hectare showed that the cost of the product BIOMIN Calcium was $64.21 higher per hectare, but based on true expense – taking into consideration the number of applications needed, the grower Standard Calcium Chloride program was actually $535.79 / Ha more expensive, showing that a better quality product is more cost-effective when calculated correctly.
Many growing industries have come a long way in the last decade with regard to the sustainability of the soil, resources and the environment in general, and are moving away from the Standard Calcium Chloride program. By using a higher quality Calcium product they have brought production costs down to stay viable.
ROOTS, SHOOTS & FRUITS BIOMIN CALCIUM
Roots Shoots & Fruits specialise in plant mineral nutrition and biological organisms, working closely with NZ growers to analyse their leaf tissue tests and prescribe plant nutritional programs to improve crop health and production.
Biomin Calcium is completely soluble and highly bio-available. This is because the Calcium molecules are ‘chelated’ with Glycine. Glycine is the smallest amino acid and what plants themselves are made of, therefore plants recognise and absorb the Glycine chelated molecules readily sending it to areas of need within the plant. In Kiwifruit trials, the fruit treated with Biomin Calcium had a 15% increase in residual Calcium levels, showing that Glycine chelated Calcium is highly systemic as well as mobile through the fruit cuticle, a characteristic not present in other calcium formulations in the marketplace.
Biomin Calcium is non-phytotoxic whilst Calcium Chloride applications are. This means Biomin can be applied at higher rates if required without the worry of burn, so less tractor runs. BIOMIN is totally absorbed by plants within a few hours of application, creating a great rain window for grower operations. BIOMIN Calcium has a neutral charge, so has unimpeded entry into and within the plant. The added bonus is that Biomin fertiliser is organically certified through Biogro, meaning safe applications that are beneficial for the environment and the microorganisms present in our soils. Glycine Chelated Calcium comes up trumps compared with Calcium Chloride fertilizer.
For any questions on BIOMIN Calcium and various crops, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.