Calcium on Peanuts: What You Should Know to Improve Yields >>
Calcium’s Role in Peanuts Development
Peanut plants depend upon calcium to advance seed formation and development. Calcium deficiencies can have detrimental effects on peanut development due to the plant’s ability to directly absorb nutrients from the soil. The legume’s inability to translocate calcium down to the developing seed from the roots and shoot makes plant-available calcium vital to proper peanut growth. Therefore, abundant water-soluble calcium for peanuts within the “pegging zone” (three inches from the surface) of the soil will lead to higher peanut yields.
Although calcium moves through plants similarly, deficiency symptoms can vary widely among different crops. Peanuts rely heavily on calcium for proper development; otherwise, peanuts undergo “pops” that result in empty pods and become more susceptible to pod rot. Adequate control of macronutrients within the soil at all plant stages will help prevent diseases and optimize plant potential.
Depending on the plant, too much or too little precipitation along with basic soil properties can have big influences on calcium uptake. Since pH balance in soils safeguards proper nutrient absorption, a pH between 6.8 and 7 is ideal to ensure that the majority of essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, and calcium are available. Calcium availability is especially important during the peanut plant’s pegging stage. With specific crop demands, field susceptibility to leaching, and environmental influences, the application of additional calcium will greatly contribute to the maintenance of a well-balanced soil chemistry. Incorporating calcium into ammonia-based fertilizers, liming, and gypsum application aids in concentrating needed calcium deposits within the rhizosphere.
A Solution for Calcium Management
Water solubility of calcium is essential to peanut development since plants are incapable of solid nutrient uptake. The natural features of lime and gypsum may meet plant requirements of solubility; however, supplemental plant nutrition can significantly support yields and soil health. Lime serves to mitigate acidic soil pH and gypsum adds calcium and sulfur to the soil. Both methods predominantly meet calcium demands for peanuts but fail to bring more to the table. Timac Agro’s Humiflore not only supplies calcium, sulfur, and magnesium, but the product also stimulates microbial activity to improve complete soil health. The use of calcium-rich fertilizers like Humiflore will successfully remediate and replace ordinary farming practices.
Peanut production requires a holistic outlook on agronomy to protect, add on to, and facilitate the presence of calcium in soils. Calcium is a prominent secondary nutrient that can either devastate or improve soil biology and plant health if found in high or low quantities. Soil conditioners such as Humiflore provides a multi-tiered solution to the complex needs of peanut farming. Due to the peanut plant’s unique properties of passively absorbing necessary nutrients for full seed-filling from directly within the soil, nutrient balance and calcium levels should be a priority for growers.
Clearly, the peanut industry has a strong demand for a less complicated approach to proper soil management. Timac Agro’s product Humiflore breaks through as a practical solution to the future of peanut farming. In doing so, Humiflore deposits calcium and other plant nutrients in more soluble forms while promoting soil microbial activity. Humiflore’s highly porous, honeycomb structure also fosters increased calcium release compared to conventional lime and gypsum. Overall, products that are innovative, easy to use, and granular pave the way for a brighter future in the complex cropping system of peanuts.
Author: Amber Cassell – Regional Product Manager