April 22, 2020 – Water Penetration Issues – The time has arrived when crops like tree fruit and almonds which bloom first and begin developing canopy later in season, begin using more water per unit of acre on which they are planted. With this in mind, a review of those issues which cause water penetration issues in these crops would be in order. First, we will delve into what those issues are and then how may be able to alleviate the crops of these issues.
First, not all water penetration issues are caused by lack of soluble calcium. Some soils may have been planted into very well soils, which may have caused a physical compaction. Usually, but not always, calcium is not a limiting factor in the penetration of water into these particular soils. We must evaluate the soil map, irrigation water suitability sample results and also look the most recent soil sample to determine what is the actual cause of the water penetration issues. Physical compaction is very difficult to deal with in-season. Adding unnecessary calcium to fields like this may lead to EC issues. One way of dealing with this would be to add your favorite soil/water surfactant to help push those physical compaction layers. These treatments will be short-lived, and frequent applications during higher crop water use periods will most likely give you the best result.
Second, once you have determined calcium to be a limiting factor, we need to find a soluble, in-season source you may be able to apply to help with the water penetration issues. “Water Soluble Gypsum” as not a as soluble as people think as it is only 0.24% soluble. Applying 450 lbs/acre/season of the supposed water- soluble gypsum, with this level of solubility would only supply 0.25 lbs of soluble, immediately available calcium to the soil solution. Spending time with silos and/or bags in the field can be a headache, therefore liquid solutions, when formulated correctly can help.
Cell Power® Slyce® 8% Calcium is a calcium nitrate-based material, formulated with short-chained sugars and organic acids to help synergize the soluble calcium in the blend. The product allows a wide method of application (i.e. drip/micro irrigation, shank, broadcast, etc.,). The labeled rates are 1-5 gallons per acre, per application. Nonetheless, depending on your specific situation most growers apply ½-1 gallon per acre as an initial application rate and then every 2-3 weeks at 1-2 quarts/acre. Assuming the lack of soluble calcium is the issue, this is oneproduct you can use to help water infiltrate into the active parts of your crops,root zone.
The next time you are wondering why there is so much standing water in your fields, follow the steps above and work towards an effective strategy to alleviate this issue. Contact your local representative at OMEX® for more information regarding Cell Power® Slyce® 8% Calcium.