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Taking Calcium to the Optimum

Taking Calcium to the Optimum

Calcium is a vital plant nutrient that is key in building strong cell walls and membranes. Unlike most nutrients, plants principally move calcium with water in the xylem via the transpiration stream. As a result, plant tissues with high transpiration rates, such as leaves, receive the lion’s share of the available calcium. Conversely, those organs with lower transpiration rates, such as fruit, can suffer from sub-optimal levels of calcium despite ample availability in the growing substrate and adjacent leaves.

This deficiency in calcium availability can cause severe damage in fruit, such as ‘bitter pit’ disorder for apples. It also has more subtle, but no less significant, effects when levels are sub-optimal. Calcium’s role in providing structure to cell walls is a vital function in sustaining fruit firmness throughout its shelf life. Firmer fruit when picked can be handled more easily with less bruising damage and will last longer throughout the transport chain, arriving to customers in better condition. This results in less waste at the farm, the retailer and end consumer.

So if calcium transport is driven by the transpiration stream, how can the levels in fruit be maximised? Application of Plant Impacts’s CaTTM technology stimulates selective ion transport channels in membranes, increasing calcium concentration within cells, including those in fruit. This allows localised active movement of calcium through cells (called the symplastic pathway), allowing concentrations to be optimised where calcium is most needed. The diagram below shows how calcium movement through cells can be enabled when CaTTM Technology is applied.

This calcium mobility effect is not only beneficial in fruit crops but also in vegetables and salads, where localised deficiency can lead to disorders such as tip-burn of lettuce and brassicas and black heart of celery. CaTTM technology used on these crops can improve the availability of calcium and reduce the damaging effects of these calcium deficiency symptoms.

The formulation used in this technology has been patented, showing there is clear evidence of the unique benefits which it delivers. CaTTM technology has been trialled extensively on a range of crops in the UK, Europe and beyond. In the range of trial results highlighted below, apple fruit firmness was increased significantly using Ametros compared with leading competitor products. Also Bitter Pit and storage rots were reduced significantly, increasing marketable yield. Ametros is the only product available in the UK which contains CaTTM technology.

Ametros is highly compatible with other foliar sprays, allowing for easy and safe application, and will provide maximum benefits to fruit crops with fortnightly applications unlike some other calcium products that need to be applied weekly. The Ametros formulation also contains 13% CaO (w/w), providing additional calcium for the CaTTM Technology to mobilise.

In conclusion, the unique and patented CaTTM Technology in Ametros has been scientifically proven to improve localised calcium movement, increasing fruit yield and quality. Ametros is distributed in Great Britain exclusively by Hortifeeds. Talk to your Hortifeeds Sales Manager for further details.

 

 

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