Calcium Input Selection

By: John Kelly

The critical roles of calcium in plant growth and development can be categorized into three key benefit areas: 

1.     Root growth. The root tip requires ionic calcium availability in order to grow and exert adequate pressure to elongate in the soil.

2.     Cell wall strength and integrity. During cell development, calcium forms in the cell walls and plays a key role in the relative strength of the cells.

3.     Soil structure. The ratio and level of cations in the soil have a profound influence on soil structure. Calcium is a unique in atomic characteristic that enable it to form micro pores in the soil. 

Yield and quality potential are greatly enhanced with calcium improvements in the soil and plant. Crops respond consistently to enhanced calcium management. One common question is how to select inputs. There are six primary considerations for calcium input selection: 

·     Solubility

·     Anion content

·     Cost per unit

·     Cost per application

·     Bioavailability

·     Plant metabolism 

A review of some commonly used calcium inputs along with comments are listed below:


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