Viator, Spain

Issues:

A new plum tomato variety was being trialled for Casi. Once the presence of ripening fruit on truss two was visible, the plants were showing signs of stress and blossom end rot was beginning to form on the last two fruit of truss one. Casi recommended a foliar calcium program as the stem of the variety is slender which reduces vascular flow and as the crops demand for nitrogen is relatively low, therefore a normal calcium nitrate boost would not be correct in this instance.

Application:

Bio-Chel Ca was compared to two calcium nitrate based foliar fertilisers with supposed cellular mobility aids for calcium along with zinc. Bio-Chel Ca is a 10% calcium lignin chelate fertiliser which provides two sources of Bio available calcium’s and naturally occurring penetrants and surfactants to aid uptake.

 

Product and Plot  Application
rate per Ha
 Water
rate per Ha
Timing
Plot 1:  5%Ca+Zn 2.0 litres 800 litres Every 15 days until end of harvest
Plot 2: Bio-Chel Ca 4.0 litres 800 litres Every 15 days until end of harvest
Plot 3: 6%Ca+Zn 2.0 litres 800 litres Every 15 days until end of harvest

Although the rate for Bio-Chel Ca is double the rate of the other products, it makes no claims of cellular mobility and does not have biostimulatory activity on label. The product is also considerably cheaper than the competitor products.

Results:

Over a growing period of approximately 3 months Bio-Chel Ca showed higher levels of leaf and fruit calcium, increased brix levels and a higher quality notation. The apical growth was also different with Bio-Chel Ca in that the plants had thicker stems with shorter internodes. It was thought the fact that Bio-Chel Ca had no nitrogen in its analysis was important as the levels of nitrate in the other products may be generating elongation in cells.