Aug 9, 2018Researchers study effects of Calcium Chloride, Calcium Nitrate
In potato production, calcium nutrients can be applied in the form of calcium chloride or calcium nitrate. In this regard, application of calcium nutrients during growth of potato plants can be considered as an alternative method to improve plant growth and yield. Researchers from the Department of Plant Sciences at Arsi University completed a study to determine the effect of calcium chloride and calcium nitrate on potato growth, tuber yield and assess whether these calcium nutrients differentially affected potato plant growth and tuber yield.
The experiment was conducted under natural sunlight conditions and was conducted in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The treatments consisted of a factorial combination of two potato varieties (shenkola and gera) and three types of calcium nutrients: calcium chloride alone, calcium nitrate alone and calcium chloride mixed with calcium nitrate (1:1) each at three levels (5 g, 10 g and 15 g per liter per plant) and the control treatment (0 g of Ca nutrients).
In comparison to the control treatment, researchers found applications of either calcium nitrate alone or combined application of calcium chloride mixed with calcium nitrate has significantly increased plant height and tuber yield both in shenkola and in gera potato varieties. In contrast, plant height and tuber yield were not significantly differed in both potato varieties sprayed with all levels of calcium chloride alone.
Furthermore, applications of calcium fertilizers increasing potato tuber marketable yield, storage life, tuber weight, tuber size and quality has been reported. The increased tuber yield in potato plants supplied with calcium nutrient can be because of the higher calcium accumulation in the tuber tissue enhances tuberization, as positive correlation was found between tuber yield and tuber calcium content. Similarly, El-Beltagy et al. have suggested that potato tuber yield increases with increasing calcium nutrients to the medium levels. In fact calcium concentration influence tuber formation through alteration of biochemical processes such as by changing hormonal balance at the stolon tip.
Source: Yewubnesh Wendimu Seifu, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Arsi University