Calcium is an essential crop nutrient vital for many aspects of crop development. Calcium plays an extremely important role in the production of plant tissue and in improving plant growth. It is required for plant cell walls and membranes, contributing to the structure of cells and holding together the cell walls of plants. Calcium is crucial in activating certain enzymes and for the sending of signals that coordinate certain cellular activities.
Plant roots also require calcium, which is essential for the normal development of a healthy root system to ensure crops can take up the air, water, and nutrients they need from the soil. Calcium also increases resistance to outside attack and increases the feed value of forage crops to livestock.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency
Calcium deficiency in crops results in poor root growth and the death of the root tips. A lack of calcium will make the crops vulnerable to diseases, including blossom end rot in tomatoes, tip burn in cabbage, and black heart in celery.
Calcium is immobile within the plant, so if the supply of new calcium ceases, or is restricted, deficiency symptoms will appear on younger leaves. New leaves become distorted, with curled edges, and the growing tip may die.
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