Most growers know that calcium is important for fruit and vegetable crops, as it can improve cell wall strength, which has a positive effect on shelf life, firmness and ability to withstand diseases and physiological disorders. However when you look at the scientific evidence it becomes clear that the calcium applied to fruit and vegetable crops does not always end up where it is needed. Calcium is poorly absorbed by flowers and fruit therefore a lot of the calcium farmers apply to their crops is wasted as fruit are not able to absorb it efficiently.
So why is it the case that calcium absorption is so erratic? Calcium absorption is strongly linked to the transport of auxin, a plant hormone. Auxin must be present in cells for calcium to be able to move into them.
As fruit and vegetables grow and mature their auxin levels and ability to absorb calcium decreases and when crops are sprayed with foliar calcium, the leaves and very young fruit will absorb it, but maturing fruits will not.
Usually it is exactly the fruit that can’t absorb the calcium that farmers are targeting, in order to improve firmness and post harvest shelf life and prevent disorders. This is why results from conventional calcium fertilisers are so erratic, sometimes the fruit can’t absorb calcium into fruit and the input is wasted.
Albion contains Levity’s pioneering LoCal technology, to stimulate calcium absorption into parts of crops where conventional products cannot.
It can help farmers get firmness, fruit set and shelf-life to higher standards using very low inputs. It can also reduce physiological disorders on a wide range of crops.
Prevents physiological disorders
Physiological disorders like bitter pit (apples), cracking (cherry), tip burn (lettuce and cabbage), blossom end rot (tomato, watermelon and pepper), black heart (celery), end spot (avocado), soft nose (mango) and cork spot (pear) are closely related to local calcium deficiency. Often when calcium related disorders occur on crops the plants as a whole are not deficient in calcium. Indeed even the fruit is only deficient in small areas. It therefore makes sense to understand why only small parts of the plant have a problem, and treat the problem not just the symptom. Albion corrects the local calcium deficiency that leads to these important physiological problems, by allowing proper transport of calcium into the problem areas. This means farmers can use low rates and get great results.
Improves flower set and fruit retention
Albion is a very effective product for ensuring good setting of flowers, and good retention of fruit. Levity research shows that treating crops during flowering and stress conditions improves the number and size of fruits harvested.
Reduces disease susceptibility
Calcium is important in maintaining strong cell walls, and in cell to cell adhesion both critical factors in promoting plant health. Plants with good calcium status are less likely to become infected with diseases, and Albion has been demonstrated to help reduce disease susceptibility on a wide range of crops.
Improves growth during high temperatures
Albion can be used to help maintain normal growth rates during periods of high temperature growing conditions.
Improves post harvest shelf life
Pre-harvest applications of Albion are an effective way of extending post harvest shelf life, and firmness in fruit and vegetable crops. Mature fruit are naturally less able to absorb calcium, but Albion is easily absorbed allowing good performance close to harvest.