Calcium (Ca) - soil and crop
Calcium or lime is an earth alkali mineral. Below, we distinguish between the role of calcium in animal husbandry and calcium in soil and crops.
Calcium in soil and crop
Calcium is an indispensable mineral for plants. It provides strength to the cell walls and promotes the quality of the crop. Its importance has been demonstrated for potatoes, asparagus, apples, lettuce and onions, among others. In addition, calcium ensures good soil structure and a lower susceptibility of the soil to sludge.
Not every crop has an equal need for calcium; cereals consume about 5 kg of calcium per hectare, whereas crops such as corn, grass (first cut) and onions consume 20 to 50 kg per hectare. Cabbage, clover, tomato, apple and sugar beet require more than 80 kg of calcium per hectare.
Roughage that are high in calcium include grass and grass silage, alfalfa, beet press pulp and red clover, while maize silage, Corn Cob Mix (CCM), potato products and brewer grains contain relatively low levels.
It seems that in recent years, the calcium content in grass has decreased somewhat. Spring grass in particular tends to contain too little calcium but a lot of phosphate. Moreover, not all the calcium present in the soil is available; this depends on, among other things, the acidity of the soil. For fertilization, specific crop characteristics must be taken into account, such as the Ca-requirement, sensitivity to quality deterioration, and the crop type. The presence of substances that hinder calcium absorption and the impact on soil structure are also important to include in a fertilization plan. Eurofins Agro's analysis Fertilization Manager considers the various factors and provides the information needed for a sophisticated fertilization plan.
Why do we measure Calcium?