Improper management of soil moisture and nutrition post-harvest can lead to premature defoliation, impaired photosynthesis and diminished carbohydrate storage; compromising the plant’s ability to defend itself from abiotic stresses in winter and spring.
Beyond defending the plant from heat stress and supporting healthy root development, calcium supplementation has been documented to reduce cellular ion leakage; a direct result of frost damage. This increases woody plants’ ability to withstand below-freezing temperatures by increasing extracellular Ca2+ levels. This ultimately limits ice crystal formation which can compromise cell structure and lead to tissue death.
Calcium is also responsible for the transport of K+ into guard cells to maintain optimal stomata function. Proper guard-cell function allows the plant to cool itself when necessary, pull nutrients through the transpiration stream to where they are required, and conduct photosynthesis. Healthy, vigorous trees and vines will resume photosynthesis sooner and at a more active rate following harvest.
Calcium is required for the active transport of K across guard cell membranes in the stomata. This induces the opening/closing movement of the stomata allowing a cooling of the whole plant.
Carbohydrates are the product of photosynthesis. For most of the crop year, plants are at a carbohydrate deficit as the fruit acts as a significant sink. The period between crop maturity and leaf senescence is the only window all season, to store carbohydrates to improve plant health and productivity. Soluble carbohydrates interfere with ice crystal formation, protect cells and membranes, and reduce mechanical injury related to freezing. Potassium is required for the transport of carbohydrates for use by the plant.
YaraTera NITRAKAL is a new solution to rapidly improve post-harvest carbohydrate production and storage. YaraTera NITRAKAL first supports rapid uptake of key nutrients by supplying nitrate forms of nitrogen, potassium, and calcium. Next, the ratio of these key nutrients in YaraTera NITRAKAL provides an appropriate balance for most deciduous trees and vines. Better uptake and balance leads to improved vascular performance, higher rates of photosynthetically produced carbohydrates, and improved plant health.
Learn more about YaraTera NITRAKAL.
Contact your local Yara representative to learn about our crop nutrition solutions for tree nuts and other permanent crops.
(1) By Ali Zifan - Own work; Used information from: Campbell Biology (10th Edition) by: Jane B. Reece & Steven A. Wasserman.an ., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50023738
With 40 acres of fertigated and established almonds, and 40 acres of irrigated and established walnuts, the Yara Incubator Farm in Modesto, California is a center for research, solution trials and knowledge sharing.