Polysulphate: Counting on Calcium

Discover why calcium is often the unsung hero of crop nutrients and how Polysulphate delivers this powerful mineral.

5 mins
Jason Haegele, PhD

Polysulphate: Counting on calcium 

In every company, community or cluster of friends there is usually someone who contributes a lot but does not always catch the attention – or congratulations – they deserve. And so, it is with calcium.

Polysulphate contains 12.2% Ca - as calcium sulphate, however, it is the least celebrated of the four nutrients in Polysulphate. The calcium in Polysulphate is soluble and fully available for plant uptake and it quietly and generously fosters plant growth while leaving the limelight to sulphur, magnesium and potassium.

Given the critical role calcium plays in balanced crop nutrition, it’s about time we dug into up its unique contributions to crop growth, health and yield. 


Calcium and its powerful contribution to plant growth 

Calcium is responsible for proper plant cell division and for strengthening cell walls. It gives cell walls rigidity and strength. Calcium deficiency causes deterioration and disintegration of cell walls and the collapse of tissues. Plant cells become leaky under calcium insufficiency, resulting in the loss of cell compounds and eventually death of the cell and plant tissue. Calcium improves the absorption of other nutrients by roots and their translocation within the plant. It activates a number of plant growth-regulating enzyme systems, helps convert nitrate-nitrogen into forms needed for protein formation and contributes to improved disease resistance. It also plays a role in regulating various cell and plant functions. Calcium is an immobile element. When there is a deficiency, the plant can’t translocate calcium from the older leaves to the younger leaves. With calcium shortage new growth at the leaf tips and margins begins to wither and die back and new leaves are often deformed. 


Better below ground

Providing calcium through Polysulphate helps to maintain essential calcium reserves in the soil. Polysulphate can be an important source of calcium for acidic soils where calcium deficiency can be common. Available calcium can also alleviate aluminium toxicity symptoms.  


Since Polysulphate has a naturally gradual release, as the plants’ nutrient demands wane and wax throughout the season, Polysulphate’s nutrition is available at the levels that crops need. Calcium, is a powerful soil remedy that can effectively balance cation exchange capacity. In areas where sodium, aluminum and bicarbonate are a challenge, for example, calcium is a very effective tool to offset these from agronomic capacity.  In regions with high levels of bicarbonates in the soil the calcium in Polysulphate can help to create the balance needed to reduce salinity in soil.


Boost for roots and tubers

Calcium application through Polysulphate results in improved marketable yield and quality for tuber crops such as potato and root vegetables such as carrot and parsnip.

Not only does calcium support stronger, healthier plants, by playing a crucial role in protection against stresses, thus improving root and tuber development but calcium also makes these parts of the plant more robust, helping to reduce susceptibility to bruising and post-harvest diseases.

In potatoes particularly, calcium reduces skin problems and internal necrosis.

The quality achieved with Polysulphate is important at harvest and post harvest. It ensures better keeping time in storage and helps in prolonging shelf life in the supply chain all the way to consumers.

Calcium: one of the powers of Polysulphate 

At the end of the day, it is important to recognize that all crops require at least 17 essential nutrients, and each ones plays a unique and important role in achieving high quality yields and optimizing productivity.  

Building a balanced fertility program is essential to not only crop production, but fertilizer return on investment.  We hope we’ve helped you to catch up on the contribution of calcium to the power of Polysulphate. It is good to know the many ways in which we can count on calcium to help our crops. And to appreciate what calcium does in the field and for our farming businesses.