Soil tilth drives root quality. Poor soil conditions lead to a poor performing crop. Many soil types are notorious for having challenges with high magnesium or low calcium. As a crop, blueberries are notable for having soil challenges. Much of this can be traced back to deterioration of soil structure through depletion of calcium in the soil from acid use. Depletion of the soluble soil calcium can have a cascade of effect including:
The root tip requires ionic calcium availability in order to grow and exert adequate pressure to elongate in the soil.
During cell development, calcium forms in the cell walls and plays a key role in the relative strength of the cells.
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.
Maintaining a strong calcium program can be the key to improving yield and quality potential. Crops respond consistently to enhanced calcium management.
Recent work from Holden Research on the California Coast with blueberries highlights the efficacy of our new Mainstay Calcium. Early season blueberry growth was stunted and had indications of salt stress. Soil assessments indicated poor water movement and soil structure, leading to poor rooting and abiotic stress. Mainstay Calcium is specifically formulated to provide concentrated plant-available calcium for plant nutrition and soil structure. Redox microencapsulation allows for improved pH independent calcium uptake and movement within the plant. Redox microencapsulation prevents calcium tie-up in the soil allowing for improved soil structure.
Mainstay Calcium proves to be a powerful new tool for the Organics Market in a convenient flowable formulation. If you are looking for more information on Calcium inputs check out our archive of Blog posts and Video Sessions on Calcium.
"Fruit set and sizing is beyond what any of us had hoped for."
- David Holden, Holden Research and Consulting
Mainstay Calcium was applied every 2 weeks at 0.5 gallons per acre per application for two months. According to soil penetrometer reading taken before and after applications, soil firmness was decreased by 22-26%. In addition, the plants responded dramatically to the increase in available calcium nutrition by increasing growth and setting a bumper crop. Fruit size and quality were better than expected as well.