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Calcium Reduces Many Plant Diseases

I got a new book this week, Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease, Edited by Lawrence E. Datnoff, Wade H. Elmer, and Don Huber.

It is really heavy reading, it isn't the kind of book you sit down by a fire with and read at one setting. Its 278 pages of scientific journal papers showing which mineral deficiency (or excess) are the under lying cause of plant disease. Over the course of the next few month I hope to use this a a reference for this blog. I will try and break out some points that farmers and agronomist will find helpful. My pain is your gain, but for the references you'll need to buy the book.

 
Take Chapter 6, Calcium and Plant Disease, pg 82;
  • Cephalosporium Stripe in wheat was significantly reduced when liming soils from a 5.1 to 6 pH.
  • Pythium in wheat was inhibited with two applications of 440 lbs / a of gypsum
  • two applications of 440 lbs / a of gypsum significantly reduced the incidence of sheath rot caused by Sarocladium Oryzae , increased yields comparable with those obtained by the fungicide carbendazim .
 
Pretty cool, gypsum being as effective as a fungicide without the cost or possibility of liver tumors!
 
This work also backs up past work done on gypsum reducing phytophhora root rot in other crops.
 
So in addition to adding sulfur to your fertility plan with SuperCal SO4, the calcium is helping to provide a defense against many diseases.

Additional Info

  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.
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