I like to read some of the different postings on various discussion boards regarding agriculture. One of my favorite sites recently referred to an article that I found quite interesting. Here is the link:
This article discusses the role that calcium, when bound to a protein, has by prompting plants to make salicylic acid when it is threatened by infection or other danger. Salicylic acid (SA), let’s see, it has been a while since chemistry class. Oh yeah, it is related chemically to aspirin! According to the director of the study, B.W. Poovaiah, it has been known that plants make SA for quite a while (> than 100 years), but the role of calcium in telling a plant to make SA has been unknown up to now.
Wow! This is good stuff! I mean one of the biggest reasons that I chose agronomy over animal science was a remark that I remember from freshmen orientation. Animals give very specific, unmistakable indications when they are not feeling well or under stress. Plants, well let’s just say that they are often more subtle about it. But this article helps us understand that they too are not passive about putting together a defense plan to ward off infection.
The downside? Plants that have high levels of SA will be very resistant to infection, but have slower growth. Plants with too little SA will grow very rapidly, but are susceptible to infection. Makes sense, many things in life & nature follow the rule that some is good but too much or too little causes problems.
Another great reason to make sure that you don’t neglect calcium nutrition when finalizing your crop plans for 2009. SuperCal 98G & SO4 are both great sources of calcium, that’s why they are called Super! Why not try some today & give your crop a head start (but not a headache).
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!