The benefit of foliar fed calcium in wet years

After a wet winter, with heavy rainfall following flooding from last autumn, both soil and many pots grown fruit plants have been under saturated conditions for all the winter. The three-week forecast for the UK moving forward is less rainfall than previous years but some rain is still expected and the start of the season is looking dry and slightly windier than normal. Given the weather outlook, the application of foliar fed calcium would be advantageous.

In grape and cherry crops in a high-water year, fruit issues are seen with ‘splitting’ in the fruit after fruit swell pre full ripening. This issue in both crops is caused by the same physiological condition of too much water uptake and lack of calcium uptake. Calcium is a key nutrient for strong leaf and fruit growth, its key component of cell walls.

Calcium is an immobile nutrient and is difficult for roots to take up under saturated conditions, as highly mobile nutrients are far more available to root. Further, soil microbes that would normally aid the breakdown of calcium for root uptake perform badly in saturated water due to lack of oxygen. Given the lack of uptake of calcium from root level in wet years, building and keeping good leaves is essential. The leaf can in a wet year provides both functions of photosynthesis and nutrient uptake from foliar feeding of immobile nutrients like calcium. It is important to remember that the leaf must be free from deposits if it is to continue with good photosynthesis. Building up calcium in the leaf will limit the ability of the leaf to perform its primary function. Therefore, the efficacy of the calcium feed used must be correctly formulated for an even spread. This is particularly important in wet years when plants can succumb to stress more easily.

As discussed above, this year crops will need a foliar application to support nutrient uptake reliving root pressure. The coverage of leaf needed to be uniform to aid efficacy and more importantly reduce deposits building up, blocking photosynthesis. All YaraVita foliar feeds are tested and formulated thoroughly to make sure they perform through the application machinery and upon contact with leaf spread uniformly, with no build-up. This has been demonstrated in on cherry using the Yara foliar feed of YaraVita STOPIT.