Across Regions

Nutrition 101: The role of calcium in potato quality, production

Related imageCalcium plays an important role in the growth and development of plants, says Jiwan P. Palta, professor, Department of Horticulture University of Wisconsin, Madison. Palta writes in a factsheet that cell membrane health is very crucial to the survival and health of the plant cell. The health of the cell membranes can only be maintained in the presence of sufficient Ca around the membranes. Calcium is also an integral part of the cell wall. In addition, calcium is known to act like a hormone, thus regulating many growth and developmental processes in plants. Fruits and tubers are known to suffer from Ca deficiency. Deficiency of calcium in tuber tissue is even greater for potatoes grown in sandy soil because of the very low level of water soluble Ca in these soils. 

Both placement and timing of calcium fertilizer important to enhance tuber calcium. Most effective way to enhance tuber calcium is to deliver water-soluble calcium fertilizer by feeding into the irrigation line. In general, an increase in soil calcium results in reduction in stem numbers, which translates into fewer but larger tubers. This will depend on the soil test calcium. There are several benefits of calcium application. Read more