During fruit set and fill, fertigation spoon-feeding can be coupled with a dry blend application that gives citrus trees the fuel and nutrients they need for fruit development. Demand of N, K, and Ca are highest during this time period so keeping these nutrients in check is essential for ensuring crop set, juice content development, and sizing. Sources of nutrition that are available and ready for uptake into the tree should be prioritized to fuel key functions and replenish reserves for demand to come. Calcium Nitrate from YaraLiva® TROPICOTE® and YaraLiva® CN-9® is one such source as it contains nitrate nitrogen and totally plant-available calcium. The soluble calcium and nitrate nitrogen travel in tandem into the root system and begin working to strengthen cell walls and improve overall tree health while ensuring fruit has the best chance of reaching its maximum potential. Potassium nitrate and sulfate of potash are two key sources of K for citrus production. Fruit demand of N, K, and Ca during cell enlargement and maturation increases rapidly and utilizing these sources can make all the difference for this season’s crop as well as the next.
Calcium is key throughout the life of the plant, right through to harvest. Roots need calcium for growth and a consistent supply is directly related to early fruit growth, healthy cell division, and the overall strength and health of fruits and vegetables. Alongside potassium, nitrogen is the plant nutrient required in greatest quantities. Nitrogen is key for chlorophyll production and plays a major role in cell division, growth of new tissues and root system development.
The preferred form of nitrogen for plant uptake is nitrate, and plants can be susceptible to ammonium-nitrogen toxicity especially in cool wet soils. Higher plants, including many fruit and vegetable species, are especially sensitive to ammonium. Nitrogen sources in the form of urea or ammonium take time to convert to nitrate in the soil, leaving plants vulnerable. With fully soluble calcium and nitrate-nitrogen, YaraLiva products guarantee these critical nutrients are quickly and efficiently available to crops.
In tree crops, it takes time before changes in the nitrogen regime become visible, but it pays off. This trial shows that calcium nitrate provided higher yields in the long term, with a $16,000/acre accumulated ROI.
Calcium is critical for keeping tree vitality to maintain yield over time as demonstrated by this long-term trial in Florida.
120 lb N/ac of calcium nitrate provided the same yields (t/ac) and solids (lb/ac) as with 160 lb N/ac of ammonium nitrate.
With the strengthening of cell structure and protection against stresses, fruits and vegetables with a healthy supply of calcium nitrate are visibly healthier, more vibrant in color and are blemish-free inside and out. When YaraLiva is included in a fertilizer program, fruit and vegetables also keep their weight and quality for a longer time period; keeping them fresh until enjoyed by consumers.
Citrus roots, calcium deficiency on the right. A better root system means more access to nutrients.
Citrus splitting as a result of calcium deficiency
Season after season, growers are faced with a variety of crop stresses that are simply out of the industries' control. While nature and weather will take its course, with YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate growers can give their plants and trees the strength needed to protect against diseases and environmental stresses such as heat, drought, salinity and excessive sodium.
By making YaraLiva Calcium nitrate the only source of N we were able to improve the canopy density and overall tree health thus allowing the citrus trees to recover and start producing higher yields.
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.
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.
Soils can become acid over time through repeated applications of ammonium-based fertilizers, and a lack of calcium can erode soil structure and reduce productivity. Correcting acid soils can be cumbersome and costly. Maintaining a favorable soil pH is easier than correcting an acid soil. Applying soluble calcium with YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate aids in maintaining soil pH and structure, saving on liming input costs and promoting soil health.
|Fertilizer||Lime demand||Lime cost/lb N*|
|Lbs lime/lb of N||$/lb of N|
|YaraLiva TROPICOTE or CN-9||-1.3**||0.05|
|Urea or Ammonium Nitrate||1.8||0.06|
*Based on lime cost of $65 per ton applied.
**Calcium nitrate has a calculated liming value of 143 lbs of lime per 100 lbs of N.
YaraLiva Calcium Nitrate has many benefits to your citrus crop as part of the fertility program of your choice. Ask your retailer to include YaraLiva in your 5-0-7 blend.
In addition, Yara has developed a solution that is not only the best crop nutrition program for your grove but also the most economical for your business.