02 November 2020
Wow, how the time goes by so quickly. Only two more months and 2020 will be over. Let’s all hope that 2021 brings a better year.
As I was thinking about a topic to discuss this month my mind was constantly drawn to things that help both FIELDS and FERTILITY.
The other day my wife’s son came home from school and was sharing about bees and how the colony works. The ‘queen bee’, or sometimes 2 queens, are designed to give birth and to give off a scent to help regulate the unity of the colony. The worker bees in the colony essentially keep the queen fed and in a home. The queen is the heart and soul of the colony and without a queen, the colony would not survive. The role of the male bee is to mate with the queen and then die off. Everything is done in harmony and with purpose.
This functioning ecosystem reminds me a lot of a plant and soil’s ecosystem, with the queen bee reminding me a lot of the value and necessity of calcium. Calcium as a nutrient has often been referred to as the “king” of nutrients. I would like to suggest that it could also be seen as the “queen” as its role in plant growth is so critical and essential. Calcium is imperative for good cell wall strength and root growth along with regulating plant growth. Calcium regulates by slowing the release of chlorophyll and loss of protein. It also plays a role in maintaining and controlling membrane structure. Calcium is not mobile in the plant so it moves with transpiration and can carry other nutrients with it. Deficiencies are noted when there is low transpiration and also can be seen when high rates of nitrogen are used. Generally, new growth and the quick-growing early leaves are affected first.
“If you could double the thickness of a leaf, that leaf would increase its sugar production four times.” - Dr. Carey Reams
"If you could double the thickness of a leaf, that leaf would increase its sugar production four times.” - Dr. Carey Reams?"
As I have had hundreds of soil analysis reports come across my desk and I have walked many fields with growers, often the same questions come up. “If I have calcium already in my soil, why would I need to apply more?” And “What is a great way to apply available calcium to my plants?”. One of the things to know is that although there may be plenty of calcium in the soil, plants are often inefficient in absorbing calcium through the roots. In fact, they are about 10 times less efficient absorbing calcium as they are potassium. Soil microbes require very little calcium thereby not breaking it down for the roots to absorb.
How would one fix this issue?
One excellent option is to use an available source of liquid calcium that does not need to go through a biological breakdown. It should be immediately available to the soil and to the growing plant. We have had great success using a liquid 10% calcium and we sell it to bothconventional and organic growers.
So, when I first got thinking about the queen in a beehive and her importance to the entire colony, I remembered thinking that the importance of available calcium is similarly critical in plants and soils. Chris, our stellar marketing and design guy pointed out that the queen is also the strongest, most important piece on a chessboard. So the next time you think about using available calcium in your growing operation you may smile and think about it as the “Queen” nutrient.
Enjoy your day to the fullest!