Although considered a secondary nutrient, calcium is very important in keeping crops healthy. With rice crops, in particular, growing in consistently wet conditions, it is not always easy to ensure that they’re getting sufficient calcium support through conventional organic foliar fertilizers that other crops can easily benefit from.
Fortunately, there are plenty of specialized calcium fertilizer products available on the market today to makeup for such deficiencies. Which leaves crop growers with one important concern today: How can you tell if your rice crops are lacking in calcium?
Check the Tips of the Plants
Because of the cruciality of calcium in various growth stages, their lack thereof in the growth of budding rice plants makes calcium deficiency easier to spot in younger leaves. The tip of these young leaves might be pale or almost white, curling or even splitting at the ends as opposed to being straight as healthy crops are.
Inspect the Lateral Margin of the Leaves
Another part of the plant to look at are the margins, or the edges, of the leaves. A common tell-tale sign is when these leaf margins turn brown. This is because calcium is necessary in combining with pectin to form calcium pectate, which is essential in the formation of the cell-wall. Without sufficient calcium being distributed throughout the plant, plant disintegration, which begins with the browning of the leaves, is inevitable.
Roots Look Withered
Whether for rice plants or other types of crops, root health is extremely important, and calcium plays a crucial role in maintaining these healthy roots. Instead of light-colored, long, healthy roots, calcium-deficient plants tend to be much shorter and dark brown in color. Not only does this mean that there is a lack in calcium, but this also makes the rice plant vulnerable to iron deficiency in the long run.
Calcium deficiency, although seemingly less harmful than deficiencies in primary nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, makes a significant impact on the health and growth of rice crops, and the lack of it can cause great loss in crop yield if not taken care of.
EPI Phil.’s FOLIFLO Ca is a highly concentrated calcium fertilizer in suspension form that is specially formulated to fix impaired levels of calcium on the cell wall level, increasing plant assimilation uptake in the cell. It is the perfect organic foliar fertilizer to improve the health of your crops and crop yield.