To produce a crop that is economically feasible—that is, that turns a profit—farmers must push plants well beyond their natural level of production. This “push” requires the implementation of enhanced irrigation and fertilization.
The use of fertilization invariably means the addition of nitrogen to encourage growth and development. However, when plant growth is accelerated, the opportunity for imbalances in nutrition increase. This is because nitrogen is easily mined from the soil by plant roots. Conversely, the other elements such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, and others are mined with greater difficulty. Hence, as the grower pushes his plants with nitrogen or even mixed fertilizers, the imbalance between nitrogen uptake and that of other elements increases to unhealthy levels.
Of all these imbalances, the most severe discrepancy develops between nitrogen and calcium. This is because calcium is the most difficult element to mine from the soil. In relation to nitrogen uptake, calcium lags far, far behind.
Calcium is crucial to proper plant growth and development.
Calcium forms an integral part of the cell wall structure, acting as a cementing agent for the pliable pectin layers between cells. Calcium also provides a perfect bridge between phospholipids, glycolipids and proteins in the cell membrane.
The efficient operation of a plant’s machinery is closely linked to the quality of calcium nutrition. This is because many of the important enzymes for metabolic reactions—absorbing nutrients and transforming them into energy—are located on the membrane. If the membranes are imperfectly formed, which often occurs when calcium is deficient, the efficiency of metabolism is directly compromised.
When calcium nutrition is deficient in the roots, the root tissues undergo natural attrition, and develop symptoms similar to what is often seen with infection by water mold pathogens.
Common maladies associated with calcium deficiency include:
|Name of Malady||Crops||Description|
|Blossom End Breakdown||Tomato, Peach||Tissue at blossom end features necrotic, compressed tissue indentations.|
|Tip Burn, Marginal Necrosis||Lettuce, Trees, Grapevines||Low integrity leaf margins succumb to the elements and become necrotic .|
|Ink Spot||Peach, Nectarine||Imperfectly formed epidermal tissues leak cell contents to exterior, inciting a rise in epiphytic microbial populations, which causes staining of the skin. In other cases, oxidation-induced staining occurs in the absence of microbes.|
|Rind Puff||Citrus||Imperfect formed, low integrity rind tissues are easily damaged, making the fruit unmarketable.|
|Spindle Tip, Needle Shoot||Trees & Vines||Shoots or canes taper to a fine tip. Low integrity tissues succumb easily to frost and heat stress.|
|Jelly End Rot||Potato||Pockets of weak tissue develop at the stolen end. Tubers are often misshapen.|
|Catfacing, Button Berries||Strawberries||Fruit misshapen and sunken at the blossom end.|
|Water Berry||Grapes||Berries at the tip of the cluster become soft and translucent, and succumb to heat or cold.|
|Storage Breakdown||Various fruits||Fruit tissue deteriorates rapidly, and is predisposed to secondary infections.|
Many calcium products can’t deliver the calcium where it’s needed most—inside the plants. But Fusion 360 Integrity Calcium fixes this common issue.
The surfaces of plant tissues have a net, negative (-) charge, while calcium atoms are often positively charged. The consequence of this is that calcium atoms will tend to stick to plant tissue surfaces, rather than being absorbed by the plant.
The result is that after applying a calcium product, a grower will have a tissue mineral analysis performed, find that calcium levels are high, and think that everything is just fine. But the truth of the matter is that all the calcium is tied up on the outside of the plant. Little or none of the calcium is in the plant tissue, where it’s needed.
This is why the scientists at Fusion 360 have spent years perfecting a unique means of imparting a net neutral charge to calcium atoms. This technique was used to create Fusion 360 Integrity 9.5% Calcium. With this product, the calcium can be more easily absorbed into plant tissues where it’s needed, rather than being tied up on tissue surfaces.
Testing has clearly shown that Integrity 9.5% Calcium significantly increases calcium levels in the plant tissues of a variety of crops in a minimal amount of time.
Sampling of Chardonnay grapevines began on May 1st to establish baseline calcium levels, and then plants were retested one month later, after the test group had been treated 3 times with Integrity 9.5% Calcium. Leaves were pulled from the 4th and 5th nodes and washed in a 1% dishwater detergent and rinsed with distilled water prior to testing.
|Integrity 9.5% Calcium||2.25%||2.05%||2.00%||2.10%||2.10%|
In this test, calcium levels were tested in the fruit rather than leaves, as this provides a more accurate measure of calcium absorption. Fuji variety apples were first examined on June 14th, then the fruit was sprayed with Integrity Calcium once per week for five weeks, with final sampling being conducted on July 15th. All samples were washed in 1% dishwater detergent prior to testing.
|Integrity 9.5% Calcium||0.09%||0.11%||0.10%||0.12%||0.11%|
As with apples, the fruit was tested for calcium. Carson variety peaches were first tested on June 6th, and then the fruit was sprayed with Integrity Calcium every 10 days for 3 successive sprays. Calcium levels were then remeasured on July 10th. All samples were washed in 1% dishwater detergent prior to testing.
|Integrity 9.5% Calcium||0.22%||0.21%||0.20%||0.22%||0.21%|
Across the board, all three types of fruit crops tested—grapes, apples, and peaches experienced tissue calcium levels increase by 2 to 4 times in the space of only a month.
Integrity 9.5% Calcium is an effective and efficient way of easily boosting calcium levels, rebalancing nutrition, and returning plants to state of good health.
We have seen many instances in which growers who had been spending heavily on fungicides and pesticides to remedy persistent infections saw their issues disappear once they started incorporating Integrity 9.5% Calcium into their regimes. This is because bacterial and viral infections, as well as pest infestations, are often opportunistic, taking advantage of plants in poor health with weak immune systems. Once calcium and other deficient nutrients are properly supplemented, plants are strengthened and better able to resist disease, and the symptoms of previously devastating diseases resolve themselves.
If you have been struggling to find a calcium supplement that works for your crops, or if you suspect that poor crop conditions are being exacerbated by an imbalanced nutritional regime, Fusion 360 can help.