Overcoming Calcium Deficiencies

16 October, 2019

During 2015 we conducted a trial of EzyFlow Nano Calbud on grapes in the Margaret River region in Western Australia. Soils in this region are typically acidic and low in calcium. In addition to this, these soils are low in a number of trace elements, that are key to growing a quality crop. 

Calcium deficiency is normally not an issue with wine grapes, however, it is a very significant issue in table grapes. This is because appropriate calcium levels are required for things such as fruit strength and an extended shelf life of the crop. It is important to remember though, that calcium must be at balanced levels against all other nutrients for quality fruit. Regular soil tests are critical to monitoring these levels to ensure it is balanced throughout the season.

If you are conducting your soil tests and noticing that you have low levels of calcium, lime must be applied and occasionally gypsum. The low level of calcium will naturally prompt foliar applications of calcium throughout the season. Remember to attain regular tissue samples for testing to monitor your nutrient levels after applications.

It is extremely important to note that the NO3:Ca ratio. This ratio can be identified through tissue testing. Often calcium deficiency is mistakenly blamed on poor quality fruit when it is actually the NO3 level being too high and subsequently causing an unbalanced ratio.

EzyFlow Nano Calbud is a high analysis calcium carbonate which is produced with our industry leading nanotechnology. Notably, Calbud is very reactive when foliar applied due to the nano-particles increasing leaf surface area and helping to improve nutrient absorption. It can be difficult to physically raise calcium levels within the leaf, which is why we recommend multiple applications throughout the season to increase calcium levels in small increments with each application. Refer to table 1 below for results of this trial.

Tackling your calcium deficiency can be difficult. Be sure to utilise your available testing methods of soil and tissue testing, as well as keeping your nutritional program balanced and structured over the coming season. 

 

Sincerely, 

Ross Milne

Manager, WA Plant Nutrition