Calcium Nitrate for Almond
Season after season, growers are faced with a variety of environmental stresses that are simply out of the industries' control. While nature and weather will take their course, with YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate, growers can give their plants and trees the strength needed to protect against environmental stresses such as heat, drought, salinity and excessive sodium.
Crops suffering from water stress are damaged by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the oxide ion (O2-) that form in response to stress. These ROS compounds damage plant membranes, proteins, and RNA and DNA. Calcium reduces the concentration and activity of these ROS compounds and thereby reduces the damage from water stress.
Heat stress damages plants by what is called “oxidative stress” which is due to the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the oxide ion (O2-). These ROS compounds damage plant membranes, proteins, and RNA and DNA. Calcium application help reduce the formation of these two key ROS species and the damage from heat stress.
Sodium suppresses root growth and calcium helps crop roots overcome the sodium damage. Increasing calcium supply increased root growth at both low and high sodium concentrations.
Soil microbes immobilize N from urea and ammoniacal sources. This renders the nitrogen unavailable to the plant to a large extent. Nitrate is the only nitrogen form that is 100% plant available.
Soluble calcium improves soil structure by supporting aggregation and allowing for improved water infiltration. This increases soils’ water storage capacity and improves plant availability.
Nitrate, being an anion, attracts positively charged cations and helps support plant uptake of additional elements required for optimal plant and crop development.
Calcium is involved in many physiological functions including water regulation and stress signaling. Calcium is responsible for sending drought signals from the roots to the upper canopy of the trees which causes the stomata on the leaves to close. Plants required a continuous supply of calcium for root growth. Nut roots do poorly in soils with low levels of calcium. A better root system means better access to nutrients and water.
Calcium nitrate improves soil bacteria abundance while other N sources reduce populations through acidification of the rhizosphere.
In this example from Yara’s Incubator Farm, the Baseline program received 200 lb/ac N from UAN-32 in 4 applications. The Modified Program received 100 lb/ac N from UAN-32 and 100 lb/ac N from YaraLiva® CAN-17™ in the 1st and last of four applications. Less stress produced less shrivel at harvest.
In this example from Yara’s Incubator Farm, the Baseline program received 200 lb/ac N from UAN-32 in 4 applications. The Modified Program received 100 lb/ac N from UAN-32 and 100 lb/ac N from YaraLiva® CAN-17® in the 1st and last of four applications. Greater size and less shrivel means greater profitability.
Calcium is an essential component in maintaining the cell wall structure of a plant. Inadequate availability of calcium can increase the susceptibility to diseases.
The effectiveness of calcium lies in its solubility. Some common sources of Ca fertilizer are not soluble, therefore are not taken up by the plants. YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate provides readily available calcium for optimal plant uptake.
Not all nitrogen sources are the same. Research shows that calcium nitrate has a significantly better effect on root development than ammonium nitrate.
Temperatures are high and trees will be facing higher levels of stress through the remainder of the season due to heat and/or drought. Calcium plays a key role in decreasing this stress as part of the communication system in the plant by signaling water stress and triggering plant responses. Plant leaves transpire and the evaporation of water from the leaf cools the leaf. Leaves that are transpiring water are usually several degrees cooler than the air around them. Calcium, along with potassium, regulates the opening and closing of the guard cells around the stomates in leaves that regulate this transpiration process. Calcium immobility in the plant requires periodic supplementation to maintain adequate levels in the upper canopy. Plant tissues that lack sufficient Ca lose the ability to regulate the stomates and plants can become overheated. When plants overheat, the current crop suffers reductions in weight and stress on developing buds can compromise next year’s potential.